Purple Heart Greyhounds trained as service dogs

By Melissa Eichman, Reporter
Last Updated: Monday, April 23, 2012, 8:34 AM EDT

A local organization is working to connect veterans with a canine companion to help them cope with life away from the war zone.

Purple Heart Greyhound Veteran Service Dogs looks to place specially trained greyhounds with veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

“It’s an area we feel they’re not receiving enough support in," director Joanne Wuefling said. "This is our chance to reach out to these veterans.”

Wuefling says the dogs have what it takes to reach into the soul of a veteran to help emotionally and unconditionally.

The greyhounds are retired from racing and are actually trained in prison, as part of the Second Chance at Life program.

The dogs are trained to follow a variety of commands to meet the veteran’s special needs.

The greyhounds can be trained to alert the veteran when someone is walking up behind them so he or she won’t be startled They can be trained to turn on lights and give a veteran space in a large crowd.