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Wags 4 Tags pairs Triangle veterans with canine companions

Posted November 12, 2012
Updated November 13, 2012

— A wagging tail, wet nose and warm heart can do wonders for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, at least according to a local group that's pairing American heroes with man's best friend.

Ronnie Sadoski started Wags 4 Tags to help veterans suffering from PTSD deal with the psychological trauma they face every day.

"They have nightmares at night. They sweat at night. They don't like crowded places. They won't go into the mall," said Sadoski, who is himself a retired serviceman with PTSD. 

Dogs paired with soldiers or veterans suffering from PTSD, physical injuries or other serious ailments have special training to meet their human's emotional and psychological needs. The group rescues the dogs from area animal shelters.

Dog helps Triangle vet cope with PTSD Dog helps Triangle vet cope with PTSD

"You can take all the medication you want. You can go to all the counseling, but having a dog is just another piece that helps finish the puzzle," Sadoski said.

It worked for veteran Josh Herrick, who had difficulty adjusting to family life back after the stress of combat overseas. A dog named Koda helped him regain some normalcy and spend more time with his wife and daughters.

"About six months after my third tour, I didn't go anywhere. I didn't even go to Walmart," Herrick said. "(Koda helped) get me from my cocoon that I made up of not wanting to leave home."

4 Comments

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  • anneonymousone Nov 14, 9:12 a.m.

    What a marvelous, loving way to serve several needs at one time. May there be more support for returning veterans and others affected by the horrors they have had to endure, and more awareness about abandoned and abused animals.

  • magee43 Nov 13, 11:24 a.m.

    Thanks for saving both...the dogs and the veterans.As an animal rights activist and also volunteer at a animal shelter, I see so many animals killed and they all could be saved and used for good things like this.

  • racheliza Nov 13, 8:19 a.m.

    What an amazing organization! Going to fill out a volunteer application for this place today. :)

  • Wendellcatlover Nov 13, 8:17 a.m.

    Great idea! The love and companionship of an animal is always a wondrful thing!