Pits for Patriots is a Chicagoland based organization who’s training team is currently training rescued pit bulls to become service dogs for veterans and first responders in need. The training team consists of individuals from diverse backgrounds. On staff we have a Licensed Nurse Practitioner, Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Certified Peer Specialist returning combat veteran, professional dog trainers, along with a wide range of administrative people with various areas of expertise. We also have volunteers who provide service hours assisting with training dogs, fostering dogs and doing outreach and events.
Our service dogs are trained to help improve our client’s quality of life in their day to day living. The dogs also help increase the clients comfort with their socialization skills and ability to go out in public calmly. Our service dogs can help with opening and closing doors, turning on and off lights, retrieval of items, pushing buttons, carrying back packs and small packages, assisting clients with mobility and balance problems as well as assist with tasks for those in a wheelchair. The service dogs are able to wear a harness for clients with severe balance and mobility issues alleviating the use of a cane in many instances. The dogs are trained to be “seen and not heard”, for example when entering a restaurant the dog will go under table and not react to the public. All of our service dogs are held to highest standards. Our dogs are CGC and therapy certified as well as being held to the strict standards of ADI.
Pits For Patriots is currently involved with education to the canine, veteran, and first responder communities. We participate in many events to educate the public about the devotion of the pit bull breed. We are also dedicated to spreading awareness to the needs of our military and public service personnel. We provide education and in-service programs to hospitals, restaurants, public facilities, airports, and medical providers about service dogs, the laws, and the benefits to being a service dog friendly institution. Pits For Patriots clients receive training on how to handle public access concerns and confrontations, as well as advocates to help clients that come across problems in community.
Pits for Patriots will also be starting a pilot program for mental health assistant dogs. These dogs will be trained to assist those with PTSD, anxiety, fear and depression. The dogs will help with panic prevention, deep pressure calming, backpacking medications and information. They will also help the client with grounding and social interaction skills. Our clients will be tracked by licensed clinical staff to monitor their progress and help them with any problems that may arise. The clients will be involved with a strict protocol for follow up visits and assessments. The recipient of a Pits For Patriots dog receives that dog at no cost. All training is funded by private contributions and donations.