A number of Australian service men and women will soon have a new furry friend as part of an arrangement between the Australian Border Force (ABF) and Soldier On.
The K9 Support program, launched in Sydney today, will see dogs not suitable for the ABF’s Detector Dog Program re-homed to support veterans and emergency medical services (EMS) personnel.
ABF Commissioner Roman Quaedvlieg said the ABF is proud to work alongside Soldier On to support those who have served our country and who may be dealing with physical and psychological injuries as a result of their service.
“Although these dogs may not go on to work at our borders, it’s heartening to think they will go on to an equally important job providing support and companionship to those who have bravely served our nation,” Commissioner Quaedvlieg said.
Soldier On supports those who have served Australia by providing a range of support services to help them along the road to recovery and empowering them to lead fulfilling and successful lives.
The K9 Support Program provides critical support to wounded veterans and EMS personnel dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This includes those who have served as part of the Army, Navy, Air Force, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Australian Federal Police, and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, including the ABF.
Soldier On National Services Director, Rob Marshall said Soldier On is extremely grateful to ABF for gifting them the dogs for the K9 Support Program.
“These amazing dogs can be trained to stand in front of a veteran and create a protective barrier, and even provide physical contact to a veteran if they are experiencing a nightmare – these are tremendous benefits for veterans impacted by mental health issues and can significantly help them with everyday tasks.”
ABF has gifted an initial six dogs to Solider On and looks forward to working closely with the organisation as it develops the new program.