WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — Rick Yount is a former social worker who started Warrior Canine Connection in 2011.
Warrior Canine Connection is a nonprofit organization that serves as a trauma recovery program which provides service dogs to veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
The idea came to him more than a decade earlier when he was still a social worker, he said.
“I had an emergency home removal of a child who was being abused, so I had no time to take my dog home,” Yount said. “The child was in the car crying and my dog laid his head on the boy’s lap, and it had a tremendous effect in calming him down.”
From that event, the business was born. Yount said many veterans live in isolation, so he decided early on, that they should help train the service dogs.
“It gives them a chance to closely interact with the dogs,” he said. “But they also have to take the dogs out and interact with the public and that helps them connect with the community.”
Warrior Canine Connection breeds the dogs. The service dogs are free for veterans and they are named after other vets.
Though not all dogs make the cut as service dogs, those that don’t qualify can serve as family support or therapy dogs.