Service Dogs of Distinction (SDoD) recently received a large donation from the Arkansas Daughters of the American Colonists at a presentation in Fayetteville. The donation will be used to pair a disabled veteran with a service dog trained for the veteran’s specific needs free of charge.
DAC members Teresa Clark and Lisa Winkleman worked for nearly one year on the project that made the donation possible.
SDoD is an organization started by dog trainers who wanted to provide quality dogs and training for veterans with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI). All services for qualifying veterans are free of charge. Dogs are obtained from shelters and individuals who are looking to re-home young dogs with the demeanor and characteristics needed. The group then works with the veteran/dog teams until they are sufficiently trained and able to pass public access tests.
The SDoD service area is Arkansas, southern Missouri and eastern Oklahoma. It is a nonprofit organization.
Co-founders Don Gardner and Marsha Wyatt, both longtime animal handlers and dog trainers, started SDoD, a 501(c)(3) organization, in 2015 to better serve veterans who weren’t getting the aid they needed from Veteran Affairs. Dog training and counseling is provided around the clock over the phone by Wyatt and Gardner. Every Friday the group meets for training tips and discussion. The animal handlers and dog trainers, as well as other helpers, all work as volunteers.
For more information about the training program and the Service Dogs of Distinction organization or how to apply for a service dog, visit www.servicedogsofdistinction.org or contact info@servicedogsofdistinciton.org.
For information regarding the patriotic activities of DAC, contact Frankie Ochsner at 501-525-1337.