November 13th, 2018
K9’s for Veterans Chicago NFP is the recipient of the Skyway Concession Company’s (SCC) 2018 Veterans Support Grant. To commemorate Veterans’ Day, each year, SCC donates $10,000 to an organization that provides direct support to veterans and their families. This year, K9’s for Veterans Chicago was selected because of the outstanding work the organization does to assist veterans struggling with Post-Tramautic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Everyday, returning veterans are trying to cope with recurrent nightmares, flashbacks, depression and anxiety that cripples them and prevents them from successfully re-entering society. K9 companions have been shown to help these veterans transition back into civilian life. That is the mission of K9’s for Veterans Chicago. What makes this organization unique is the fact that it trains dogs from shelters to become partners for veterans. “K9’s for Veterans saves rescue dogs and they become life-savers for our returning vets with PTSD, ” said Michael Tellerino, K9’s for Veterans Chicago President.
“Skyway Concession Company is very proud to support K9’s for Veterans Chicago in this important mission,” said SCC Chief Executive Officer Fernando Redondo. “Returning veterans need our support and these dogs have proven to be critical in helping some of our veterans reclaim the quality of life they richly deserve.”
It takes a special dog to be a service dog because these dogs are so much more than pets. Many service dogs are also highly intuitive and selected for their potential to love and bond so deeply with their owners that they can signal issues such as migraines, seizures or debilitating mood shifts even before the veteran is aware of what’s happening to them. They are chosen for their solid temperaments, calm demeanor and their ability to focus and serve under pressure
Working dogs are partnered with veterans and they undergo 8 to18 months of training to really know and understand their veterans and minimum behavior standards. Because of their special status, service dogs are allowed to accompany their veterans anywhere general members of the public are allowed, including supermarkets, restaurants and places of entertainment.
Since 2005, when Skyway Concession Company (SCC) was formed to operate the Chicago Skyway Bridge, more than $140,000 has been contributed to veterans support causes.