MEMPHIS, Tenn (localmemphis.com) - A Memphis non-profit is playing matchmaker, pairing dogs in need of forever homes with veterans experiencing post traumatic stress disorder.
"Jet is uh, he saved me you know? Most people say when you adopt a dog you save one, he actually saved me," said United States Army veteran Anthony Robinson.
Robinson is an open book when it comes to his new partner Jet. The 5 year old is a Labrador mix, rescued from being euthanized at a Mid-South shelter.
"He filled a void that I didn't have," said Robinson, "My stress level's down and everything is coming together."
Robinson opened up about the struggles he had after serving in Desert Storm from 1987-1991.
"Re-adjusting to life as a whole was a struggle being able to interact with people became a struggle," said Robinson.
The Army veteran explain the struggle lasted 10 to 15 years. He was later diagnosed with PTSD.
"When I got diagnosed I was already in a bad situation because I was trying to deal with it on my own, and you can't deal with it on your own so you have to reach out," said Robinson.
"If we can help them in any way that's what we should do, and it's just amazing that we can do that with the love of a dog," said Ashley Murray, Director for Mid-South Canines for Veterans.
The organization was waiting for someone like Robinson to reach out. They adopt shelter dogs and train them to become PTSD service dogs for veterans.
Ira Smith is a dog trainer with the group and 20 year United States Navy veteran. He spotted Jet, adopted and trained him, then set him up with Robinson 5 months ago.
"Hearing Anthony how much it's changed his life that just makes it that much better," said Smith.
"To know that you have people that are as passionate as they are about what they do makes a world of difference," said Robinson.
Vets like Robinson get their furry partners for free.
However, making these connections takes a lot of time and money.
To fundraise and expand their efforts Mid-South Canines for Veterans will hosting their 2nd annual Bark on Broad 5K Saturday May 19.
The events will be held from 8:00 a.m. - 10 a.m. Starting at Paw Paws on Broad Avenue.
It's $35 to register.
You can sign up ahead of time or the day of.
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