Schnader Hosts New Leash on Life USA Event Introducing New Program for Veterans with PTSDOn February 24, 2014 by Schnader in News
On Monday, February 24, 2014, Schnader hosted a reception to kick-off New Leash On Life USA‘s innovative “Saving and Reclaiming Lives” initiative, which provides therapeutic companion dogs for veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Beginning in 2011, New Leash on Life’s main focus was its prison dog-training program that saves the lives of shelter dogs by training and socializing them to enhance their adoptability while helping inmates learn to train and care for dogs. Through this process inmates build skills, confidence, and a foundation for future employability, while the dogs go on to be adopted into loving homes.
The organization’s new pilot program began earlier this year at the State Correctional Institution at Graterford, where inmates train rescued shelter dogs as service animals for veterans with PTSD. The service dogs will be trained to assist with tasks of daily living to allow a healthy adjustment to civilian life.
PTSD has emerged as one of the most prevalent disabilities identified by the Veterans Administration, with an estimated 13 to 20 percent of the more than 2.6 million Americans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan estimated to have some form of PTSD. Not only are many new veterans receiving a diagnosis of the disorder, but an increasing number of Vietnam veterans are also reporting symptoms for the first time. These statistics have their real meaning in that hundreds of thousands of men and women who have served our country are unable to resume their civilian lives because of the psychological damage incurred on the battlefield.
Speakers at the event included, Marian V. Marchese CEO & Founder, New Leash on Life USA, Secretary John Wetzel, PA Department of Corrections and Alfred Brenner, Sgt., USMC (Ret.), New Leash on Life USA and Schnader partner Denny Shupe. Mr. Shupe is a long-time supporter of the organization and is a member of the group’s board of directors.
The organization bestowed its inaugural “Two Paws Up” Awards on longtime supporters former Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell and Dr. Clifford L. Stanley, Major General, USMC (Ret.).
Former Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell, Marian V. Marchese CEO & Founder, New Leash on Life USA, Alfred Brenner, Sgt., USMC (Ret.), New Leash on Life USA, and Dr. Clifford L. Stanley, Major General, USMC (Ret.).
Schnader partner Denny Shupe addresses the gathering while New Leash trainee Layla surveys the room.