Service Dogs Help Vets with PTSD | The Story of Jeff and Tazie

Jeff and Tazie outside

Jeff Mitchell and his dog Tazzie

Jeff Mitchell, now a medically retired Army sergeant, served two tours in Iraq. When Jeff returned home in February of 2006, it became clear to him that something was not right. He became violent, drank heavily, and started having frequent flashbacks, nightmares and auditory hallucinations. He was eventually diagnosed with having PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).

After years of futile attempts at treatment, Jeff’s condition began to improve a few months ago after a group called Paws4Vets paired him with a service dog, Tazie, who had undergone her own traumas. Ironically, Tazie is a dog who was rescued from the war zone in Afghanistan by Paws4Vets and also suffers from PTSD. The two bonded, and the companionship between the two literally helped bring Jeff out of the basement, where he had been hiding for nine months since his return from active duty.

Jeff’s goal in life now is to help people like him, but he realizes that’s going to take a long time.

An estimated 20% (approximately 400,000) of deployed vets suffer from PTSD.

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Here is a video of both Paws4Vets and Jeff Mitchell being featured on CNN.

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