On Sunday, September 13th Veteran Companion Animal Services (VCAS) held their inaugural golf scramble. All proceeds from the event went directly to VCAS programming which includes providing rescue dogs to veterans coping with PTSD. The charity provides dogs from local shelters, thus saving a dog to provide a higher purpose. VCAS provides all food, training, veterinary and insurance to veterans for one year following adoption.
OCP was thrilled to support the Pars for Patriots event as a hole sponsor. Karisha Gillenwater, OCP Administrative Assistant explained, "This is a great charity and we have quite a few veterans and active military that work for our Columbus office making this initiative dear to our hearts."
VCAS fulfills its mission through three programs:
Rescue Dog Placement Program
Many service men and women return home finding that their structure and purpose have been lost. Through the rescue dog placement program, VCAS returns this structure and purpose with the unconditional love of a dog. VCAS gets to know the veteran and matches them with a rescue dog that will fit their lifestyle and needs – creating a mutually beneficial relationship.
VCAS is currently placing dogs in central Ohio.
Frontline Dog Training Program
The Frontline Dog Training Program is a 7-week long training class taught by a professional dog trainer. These trainings are open and at no cost to all veterans and military families that currently own a dog. It may just sound like a simple step to prevent pulling on the leash, but the training program does so much more. As many veterans struggle with social isolation, group training allows veterans to connect with peers as well as VCAS volunteers.
The classes focus on manners, working through experiences that dogs would be exposed to in their everyday lives, such as walking on a leash, sitting, staying and maintaining focus during distractions. Classes are held at VFW and American Legion post locations throughout central Ohio.
Veteran Community Outings (Alumni Program)
After a veteran receives a dog or attends a training class they are still a part of the VCAS family. The community events give veterans a chance to build lasting friendships and create an atmosphere to connect with other veterans and have fun. These opportunities celebrate contributions and are a check in to see how they are doing and how VCAS can help.