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Meet the service dogs who will help vets and first responders

Last Updated Dec 10, 2019 at 2:58 pm EST

Sarg, Taratan, Siren and Maverick are all dogs who will be participating in the Valhalla Project Niagara that pairs first responders and vets with service dogs. Photo credit: Valhalla Project Niagara

Peel police Sgt. Graham Bettes and St. Catharine’s firefighter Shawn Bennett have started a unique treatment program for first responders who have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The Valhalla Project is set to begin in March of 2020 and will be free to any emergency service worker or military veteran who is suffering with mental trauma from their jobs.

It aims to teach emergency workers how to cope, but also pairs most of the participants with service dogs, and they’re trained together. Valhalla hopes to have about 120 people and 80 service dogs graduate every year.

Meet some of the dogs training to help veterans and first responders below:

Maverick

Maverick. Photo credit: The Valhalla Project Niagara

Age: 3 years old

Breed: Brittany Spaniel

Special skills: Giving hugs and stand-up paddle-boarding

Fun fact: Maverick was born on Remembrance Day

Sarg

Sarg and a friend share a stick. Photo credit: The Valhalla Project Niagara

Breed: Golden Retriever

Special skills: Calms anxiety in crowded areas including malls and concerts. He also shares his sticks.

Fun fact: Sarg is a music lover! He saw Jimmy Buffet in concert this summer and met the members of the band ‘Chicago.’

Siren

Photo credit: The Valhalla Project Niagara

Breed: Golden Retriever

Special skills: Waking his human out of PTSD-related nightmares immediately

Fun fact: Siren is from the Midland area … and loves naps

 

Tartan

Breed: Golden Retriever

Age: 10 years old

Special skills: Calming anxiety in public places.