Daniel and Oliver

Saving two lives at once. Rescuing and retraining horses and dogs as service dogs and for animal assisted programs - designed to give disabled people their independence. 

Daniel is a Vietnam Veteran who was struggling with PTSD, isolation, loneliness, depression and the loss of sight in his left eye. Daniel had decided that adding a service dog to his life would be a great thing but after searching for two years he had not found the right match. 

His case worker Hillary contacted the News 40 Surprise Squad to help with the search. When we heard of Daniel and his struggle we knew Heroes could help. We had Oliver. A 6 month old Great Pyrnese mix who had mastered the basics and could bring joy to anyone he met. We contacted Brittany Murphy and set up a meeting with Daniel and Oliver. It was love at first sight! Oliver worked his magic and Daniel was estatic!

Over the last month we have worked on transitioning Oliver over to Daniel. Jessica Mattson is working with them on a weekly basis training tasks, which will continue for the next 6 months. After that we will offer a life time of support to Daniel and Oliver. 

Daniel has said "I love Oliver. He has changed my life so much. He has dropped my depression down to about zero and is keeping me from bumping into people at the store. Oliver is mastering curbs, stairs and sidewalks to keep me from falling. Last week he woke me from a dream by licking my face. Then laid his head on my chest while I fell back to sleep. I am so proud of his progress. I love him so much!"

Every year we donate at least one service dog to a person in need. We don't charge them anything. If you would like to help us continue this service please donate to Daniel and Oliver to help raise the $9,500 so we can continue to offer service dogs to others in need!