We owe a debt of gratitude to our men and women who've served our country. We took on a mission of hope and independence for each and every Veteran who reaches out to LifeLine Service Dogs. Scientifically proven to benefit person's struggling with PTSD and other medical illnesses we strive everyday to make their lives whole through the incredible connection between a human and a dog. LifeLine was founded by a Native American Woman and Choctaw Tribal Member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and sitting currently as the Founder/Executive Director. Members of the founder's own family, having returned home from WWII and Vietnam suffered from PTSD. The impact it made on her life lead to the formation of LifeLine Service Dogs and her dedication to both our Native American and Non-Native American Veterans. LifeLine Service Dogs is the careful, planned breeding program of and for service dogs for the past 30 years.
AKC : https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/news/va-grant-program-provide-service-dogs-veterans-ptsd/
dvm360 : https://www.dvm360.com/view/a-voice-for-veterans-waitlisted-for-service-dogs
Lifeline Service Dogs utilizes a breeding program already successful in the placement of Service Canines. A breeding program developed over 25 years to maximize the strengths and intelligence and perceptive nature that’s absolutely essential for a canine's success in service dog training.
Other service dog programs not using this resource of such a solid foundation have a widely documented failure/washout rate of OVER 50%. This is an unacceptable percentage and can be easily remedied with better sourcing from a solid breeding program of naturally, genetically enhanced Labrador Retrievers for the strength of service dog intelligence and aptitude.
Training begins with puppy development at 3 days old.
Implementing and imprinting well researched and documented early socialization techniques, proven to add benefit to an already solid puppy, putting that puppy leaps and bounds ahead of standard expectations.
We don’t use puppy raisers at Lifeline , we know how crucial development and early imprint/training can be to the success of each puppy. This can only be achieved by supervised, structured daily interaction from an experienced and knowledgeable understanding.
Puppies aren’t rushed or enrolled into training, putting them under a lot of pressure, but they are developed, and this is where I know other programs are missing such an important puzzle piece. Over the next 18-24 months in training, our trained professionals work daily with development and training both alongside and independently of our Veterans. We believe the “match” is more successful very early in training, unlike other utilized methods of matching at “graduation”. We believe that a bond formed early is especially crucial for our Psych Support canines where each service dog learns the natural and rhythmic patterns of his or her partner. Learning these normal patterns early and with consistent exposure helps set a baseline and makes a change or disruption in a normal pattern faster and easier for the canine to learn. This extensive and detailed training program is truly what sets the bar for success.
LifeLine is a developed a breeding program unlike most, of AKC Labrador Retrievers. I’ve been a professional and accomplished trainer and behaviorist since 1990. I’ve evaluated litters for strong SD candidates in over 276 litters over the past 32 years successfully, with a less than 1% washout rate. I’ve trained and placed 55 SD’s (Service Dogs) as Med Alert, Psych Support and Brace/Mobility.
Lifeline Service Dogs operates from a 10,230sq ft building on 8 acres in AR. We serve both Local and Nationwide applicants. Our proximity to nearby businesses provides ample place to work and train for public access.
We know waitlist times can be shortened by detailing a better approach from the beginning and eliminating the washout / start over rate that continuously lengthens the time in retraining and evaluation.
THE IMPACT YOUR SUPPORT MAKES!
Recent studies by Perdue and again referenced in the P.A.W.S. Act (The recent bill passed, Puppies Assisting Wounded Servicemembers) verify the cost involved in training a Service Dog at roughly $50,000.00 for each Service Dog placed. LifeLine SD goals for 2022 and 2023 are to train and place 20 task trained service dogs to our qualified applicants, again at no cost to them. Your support enables us to meet with our Veterans, often traveling a few hundred miles to do so, as well as providing for all of the training and cost and care for each service dog in training in addition to building and adding housing enrichment and improvements. We cannot do this without you and your generosity, we truly appreciate you.
In order to protect the privacy of our Veterans you're helping; we share video testimony only after making sure our Veterans would be comfortable doing so.We are in the process of adding those interviews and videos so please check back here on our website often! However, we would like to share some of the feedback we get from our Veterans who benefit from what YOU are helping us achieve.
"Before Doc ,(Service Dog) I wasn't interested in going out in public. I had pretty much secluded myself from my family because I just felt so isolated and constrained by social triggers that would manifest themselves and leave me struggling to maintain composure. The family strain became so overwhelming that it almost tore us apart. What I experienced over there took a piece of me and I came home changed by PTSD. A buddy of mine told me about LifeLine and for a while I just kept it in the back of my mind, I mean honestly, I wasn't sure what a Service Dog could do for me. If I had known then what I know now, I would have called them the second I learned about them. What Doc has done for me is beyond words. He restored a confidence and a sense of security in public places for me. I am back with my wife and kids participating in Life, I am present, and I wasn't ever sure I could be. He's even helped with a decrease in some of my medications, it's just more than I could have hoped for. I know I'll always carry the memories and there will be triggers, but Doc is there with me and we're going to be ok. Thank you ,to LifeLine and to everyone who supported this organization to make this possible for me and my family. Thank you so much."
" It's hard to explain or convey what PTSD is. I came back from Afghanistan and life back home was like someone had flipped a switch and I was in some other universe. The anxiety and terror are so real, and people look at you, you look healthy, so they don't understand why I just couldn't appreciate being home and return to "normal". I felt alone, I felt exposed everywhere I went. I was just constantly looking around because I didn't feel safe. Sleep didn't offer any relief, the memories I have, just became night terrors. You're living in a mental hell and life becomes void. I seriously thought If I wasn't here anymore it would just be better for everyone. This worthless life that spilled out to my family wasn't worth the pain it caused them or me. This was a thought that grew daily and became pretty much present at all times. There was no hope for me, I was never going to feel good again, or so I thought. I first learned about LifeLine through one of their lead trainers. She was out training and as I walked past, she smiled as said "Hi, how are you doing today?" I remember taking a few steps and then just a voice in my head said, "turn around". So I just briefly asked to pet the dog, which I know now is probably not appropriate for dogs in training, but she agreed and asked me to give the pup a treat. This began a conversation that literally changed my life. Six is exactly that, she's always got my six. There is purpose, and HOPE and she (Six) ,LifeLine and you, their donors gave back to me, and I just can't put into words how grateful I am to you all. I can promise you because of this opportunity I want to share and give back what you gave me, to others. I speak publicly and encourage others to reach out and grab a LifeLine !"
"I'm a Vietnam Veteran. I named my service dog, Carl for my buddy over there who didn't get to come back with me. Age and Agent Orange haven't been kind to me. I pretty much need a suitcase for all the medicine they have me on. Carl's about the best thing in my life outside of my kids. I lost my wife a few years ago and she did a good job helping take care of me. When she passed, I got pretty sad and uninterested in a lot of things. My blood sugars got pretty high all the time and I'd lose track of time and when I was supposed to take medicine. Carl has been such a help to me . I lost a foot to diabetes and LifeLine trained Carl to open doors and turn on lights. Carl can go get my medicine and bring it to me. He comes along side of me and helps me get out of bed or stand up out of a chair, so I don't fall. It's amazing but somehow, they trained Carl to know when my blood sugars aren't what they are supposed to be and he comes to me and gives me a nudge to remind me to get back on track. My family and I sure appreciate Carl and everyone who helped provide him to me. Thank you and God Bless America.