Green Dogs Unleashed (GDU) is a non-profit organization committed to rescuing animals in need, rehabilitating them, professionally training them to become Therapy dogs, and placing them in homes to give back to the local community. Erika Proctor, her family, and her arsenal of incredible volunteers focus on the rescue, rehabilitation, and training of “special needs animals to work with special humans in need.” All of their animals are trained and rehabilitated at Unleashed Canine Training Academy, in Troy, Virginia.
On top of their already busy training, rehabilitation, and adoption schedules, Erika and her team have worked to develop a special PTSD training program for dogs they identify as having the right temperament for this specialized work. “Our animals assist in providing Veterans with a way to navigate through a world which may otherwise hinder them. This often includes helping both the Veteran and family members overcome stress, frustration, and limitations.” The PTSD program works to identify 1 to 2 dogs a year to go through over 500 hours of specialized training and development, and integration with their Veteran owners and families.
This program is personal for Erika and her family, “we are a Veteran Family and have faced our own challenges while navigating the challenges that PTSD has on a family.” It has become an important mission for Erika to prepare these dogs, and their new families, to navigate challenges the Veteran community faces on the home front. “We strive to help better the lives of rescue dogs and the Veterans they can serve. The ultimate goal is for the dog to be utilized in a way which makes the Veteran’s life whole again. Helping them to regain confidence, hope, and happiness.” Erika and the Green Dogs Unleashed team want to increase the awareness of their PTSD program by spreading the word amongst Veterans and other organizations that serve the Veteran community. With more awareness and support, GDU would like to expand their PTSD program and be able to take on more dogs each year, serving more Veteran families in our community.
Erika is the epitome of giving back to her community. Running Green Dogs Unleashed is certainly an around the clock job for her and her family. However, they seem to hold close to their gratitude each day, “to me, gratitude means appreciating something so much, you strive to give back so others can feel that glorious sunlight too.”
Each month, “The Freedom Fund” Board of Directors will choose a FOF award winner to be featured on Gratitudecville.com. Winners will get a trophy and sometimes a monetary award. To nominate person or organization that promotes and protects freedom in our community, email us at email@example.com.