MU Study Pairs Military Veterans and Shelter Dogs

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COLUMBIA - An MU Professor is conducting a new study that will give military veterans a "training buddy" to help them cope while helping shelter dogs become more adoptable.

Researchers say almost 50 percent of United States service members that have been in wars suffer from problems ranging from substance abuse to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). MU is in partnership with the Central Missouri Humane Society on the project.

The project is a three-phase study, focusing on veterans in Columbia and Springfield, starting with veterans learning how to train dogs in basic obedience. In the second phase, veterans will be mentors to families who adopt shelter dogs. Finally, the third phase will involve well-trained dogs helping soliders with PTSD.

One hope for the research is to make dogs better family members and provide stress relief for the veterans.