Defence Bank Foundation

Defence Bank Foundation provides support to Veterans suffering from PTSD. We do this by providing PTSD Assistance Dogs.

About

The Defence Bank Foundation (The Foundation) funds the provision of PTSD Service Dogs, trained by Defence Community Dogs (DCD), to serving and ex-serving Australian Defence Force members. The dogs are trained to Assistance Dog level and provide support to veterans to help them better manage injuries and illnesses including Post-traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD).

The Foundation has been supporting PTSD Service Dog programs since 2013 and based on the feedback received from PTSD sufferers and their families, it is evident that these dogs have been a valuable part of the veteran’s rehabilitation program. Veterans who have received dogs have reported that the dogs give them purpose, reduce reliance on medication and help reduce the feelings of isolation that many PTSD sufferers experience. In addition, a 2017 study of PTSD Service Dogs in Military Veterans conducted by the Purdue University provided evidence that, “compared with usual care alone, military members and veterans with trained Service Dogs show lower PTSD symptomology, reduced depression and increased social participation.” (1)

Every dog in the program is rescued from a pound or shelter, but to be selected, the dog must pass a strict health and temperament assessment before being accepted into the program. Each dog is then trained to the level of ‘Advanced Service Dog’ and is specifically trained to assist veterans coping with Post-traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD). This level of training equips the dog with the competencies and skills required to complete a Public Access Test (PAT), although the veteran recipient is responsible for completing the PAT requirements applicable to their state of residence following graduation.

All dogs will undertake at least six (6) months or a minimum of 200 hours of professional dog training and must past numerous assessments to graduate.

Once a dog has completed its training, the dogs are matched with a suitable and eligible veteran through an extensive application process. The DCD program requires applicants to be serving or ex-serving Australian Defence Force members. Applicants must also have a medical endorsement that supports the veteran’s application for a PTSD Service Dog. The dogs are provided at no cost to the veteran.

Successful veterans attend a comprehensive handover program where they spend at least a week working with the trainers and program staff, learning how to correctly handle, command and care for their new Service Dogs. This also affords the veterans an opportunity to gradually bond with their dog whilst under the constant supervision of a professional dog trainer. The Handover is then reinforced through on-going dog training at the veteran’s local dog training group until the dog qualifies as an Assistance Dog by passing their Public Access Test. Follow up and support is provided throughout this period.

The Dogs in the DCD program are trained at Correctional Centres with the assistance of inmates and professional dog trainers at the Centre while under the guidance of one of Australia’s leading Dog Trainers, Steve Austin.

How to support the DCD program

It costs $7,500 to train each dog. If you would like to sponsor a dog or make a donation, please visit the website or contact us.

Want to find out how to apply for a PTSD Service dog?

If you know someone who would benefit from a PTSD Service Dog, please ask them to email us for an ‘Applying for a PTSD Dog Fact Sheet’.

About The Defence Bank Foundation

The Defence Bank Foundation is a registered charity which raises funds to support serving and ex-serving Australian Defence Force members suffering from injuries or illnesses such as PTSD. The Administration costs to run The Foundation are met by The Defence Bank to make sure that all donated funds are available to train the dogs and support veterans during and after handover. Funds are raised through direct Bank donations to the Foundation, staff fundraising, member donations and dog sponsorships.

The sole beneficiary of The Foundation is the Defence Community Dogs program.

About Defence Community Dogs

Defence Community Dogs manages the specialised PTSD Dog Training program which rescues abandoned dogs and trains them to assist Veterans coping with Post-traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD).

Contact Us

For more information, please visit the website defencebankfoundation.com.au or contact us at [email protected]

The Defence Bank Foundation (The Foundation) funds the provision of PTSD Service Dogs, trained by Defence Community Dogs (DCD), to serving and ex-serving Australian Defence Force members. The dogs are trained to Assistance Dog level and provide support to veterans to help them better manage injuries and illnesses including Post-traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD).

The Foundation has been supporting PTSD Service Dog programs since 2013 and based on the feedback received from PTSD sufferers and their families, it is evident that these dogs have been a valuable part of the veteran’s rehabilitation program. Veterans who have received dogs have reported that the dogs give them purpose, reduce reliance on medication and help reduce the feelings of isolation that many PTSD sufferers experience. In addition, a 2017 study of PTSD Service Dogs in Military Veterans conducted by the Purdue University provided evidence that, “compared with usual care alone, military members and veterans with trained Service Dogs show lower PTSD symptomology, reduced depression and increased social participation.” (1)

Every dog in the program is rescued from a pound or shelter, but to be selected, the dog must pass a strict health and temperament assessment before being accepted into the program. Each dog is then trained to the level of ‘Advanced Service Dog’ and is specifically trained to assist veterans coping with Post-traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD). This level of training equips the dog with the competencies and skills required to complete a Public Access Test (PAT), although the veteran recipient is responsible for completing the PAT requirements applicable to their state of residence following graduation.

All dogs will undertake at least six (6) months or a minimum of 200 hours of professional dog training and must past numerous assessments to graduate.

Once a dog has completed its training, the dogs are matched with a suitable and eligible veteran through an extensive application process. The DCD program requires applicants to be serving or ex-serving Australian Defence Force members. Applicants must also have a medical endorsement that supports the veteran’s application for a PTSD Service Dog. The dogs are provided at no cost to the veteran.

Successful veterans attend a comprehensive handover program where they spend at least a week working with the trainers and program staff, learning how to correctly handle, command and care for their new Service Dogs. This also affords the veterans an opportunity to gradually bond with their dog whilst under the constant supervision of a professional dog trainer. The Handover is then reinforced through on-going dog training at the veteran’s local dog training group until the dog qualifies as an Assistance Dog by passing their Public Access Test. Follow up and support is provided throughout this period.

The Dogs in the DCD program are trained at Correctional Centres with the assistance of inmates and professional dog trainers at the Centre while under the guidance of one of Australia’s leading Dog Trainers, Steve Austin.

How to support the DCD program

It costs $7,500 to train each dog. If you would like to sponsor a dog or make a donation, please visit the website or contact us.

Want to find out how to apply for a PTSD Service dog?

If you know someone who would benefit from a PTSD Service Dog, please ask them to email us for an ‘Applying for a PTSD Dog Fact Sheet’.

About The Defence Bank Foundation

The Defence Bank Foundation is a registered charity which raises funds to support serving and ex-serving Australian Defence Force members suffering from injuries or illnesses such as PTSD. The Administration costs to run The Foundation are met by The Defence Bank to make sure that all donated funds are available to train the dogs and support veterans during and after handover. Funds are raised through direct Bank donations to the Foundation, staff fundraising, member donations and dog sponsorships.

The sole beneficiary of The Foundation in 2018 is the Defence Community Dogs program.

About Defence Community Dogs

Defence Community Dogs manages the specialised PTSD Dog Training program which rescues abandoned dogs and trains them to assist Veterans coping with Post-traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD).

Contact Us

For more information, please visit the website defencebankfoundation.com.au or contact us at [email protected]

Our Projects

This charity does not have an active project at the moment