Improving the lives of Veterans. One paw at a time.

A Unique Win, Win, Win program:
The DCD program rescues dogs, rehabilitates prisoners, and helps repair the lives of veterans

Defence Community Dogs (DCD) provides highly trained Assistance Dogs to serving and ex-serving Australian Defence Force members, who need physical, and emotional support to deal with injuries and illnesses including post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD).

Every dog in the Defence Community Dogs program is a rescue dog and undertakes at least 8 to 10 months of professional dog training and must pass numerous assessments in order to graduate. All training takes place Correctional Centres with the assistance of professional dog trainers, and under the guidance of one of Australia’s leading Dog Trainers, Steve Austin. The dogs are then provided at no cost to the Veteran.

Once a dog has completed its extensive training program it can be matched with a suitable and eligible Veteran. Veterans attend a comprehensive handover workshop at the training facility before taking ownership of their dog. Each Veteran is responsible for completing additional training in order to pass Public Access Testing (PAT) requirements applicable to their state of residence.

Assistance Dogs can increase independence and self-esteem. Veterans who have received Assistance Dogs through our program have described their dogs to be a truly invaluable part of their rehabilitation; They give them purpose, reduce reliance on medication and help reduce the feelings of isolation that many PTSD sufferers experience.

For more information please visit our website:

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