PTSD Dogs Australia with ex-veterans and St George Bank staff at Eumundi Markets on Wednesday.
PTSD Dogs Australia with ex-veterans and St George Bank staff at Eumundi Markets on Wednesday. Caitlin Zerafa

Dog love to the rescue

THEY say a dog is a man's best friend and that is quite literally true in this case.

PTSD Dogs Australia is improving the lives of ex-veterans, emergency service personnel and first responders with specially trained assistance dogs.

Set up by Air Force veteran Roger Weeks and his wife Angie, the not-for-profit organisation assists people dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder either training their own or acquiring a ready-trained service dog.

At Eumundi Markets, on Wednesday PTSD Dogs Australia and St George Bank were out raising awareness and money for the cause, with many passers-by happy to stop to pat the dogs and have a chat with ex-veterans.

The day was also to show their brand new Dragon trailer, funded by St George, which Mr Weeks will tow around Australia on the back of a Harley Davidson as part of a promotional motorcycle tour next year.

"Today was to celebrate the trailer that St George have so kindly donated to us,” Mr Weeks said.

PTSD Dogs Australia was initiated off the struggle Mr Weeks had post service.

"I am ex-air force and we spent 18 months trying to get a dog for me and it was almost impossible and Angie my wife is one for those people that if something needs doing, she does it.”

"To be honest I would not be here today if I didn't have the dogs.”

The charity buy dogs from shelters to train specifically to the need of each owner, but that comes at a cost.

"It takes six months of pre-training for the dog and then another three months to train with the veteran so the dog is specifically trained and paired to each veteran,” Mr Weeks said.

"On average it costs about $35,000 to train one dog.”

St George regional executive Ashtyn Tune said their involvement is a way to help the charity start up.

"We wanted to do something to help them get off the ground, it is such a good cause.” she said.

PTSD Dogs Australia are currently in need of land and are calling on help to purchase a place.

"We need a major benefactor cause we need to get property somewhere up here that we can establish a training facility,” he said.