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Training Psychiatric Service Dogs
for Local Veterans

The Central Pennsylvania Animal Alliance’s Hounds of Prison Education (HOPE) Program has developed a new wing of the program in an effort to help more dogs find second chances. The Helping Hounds Program will train homeless dogs to become psychiatric service dogs for veterans living with post traumatic stress disorder.  

The training will be conducted at the State Correctional Institution at Camp Hill where the dogs will be paired with carefully screened inmates to focus on basic obedience training, socialization and tasks that are specific to the service dog certification standards.  After eight to twelve weeks of intensive training with the inmate handlers, the dog will be adopted by a veteran and the second half of the training will begin.  The veteran and dog will attend weekly classes with our trainer for a year as they work together toward their certification as a service dog team.  

The goal of the program is to help the veterans and the dogs by actively engaging both in their training.  The model for training psychiatric service dogs includes pairing the dog with the veteran as soon as possible so that the bonding that is so important for success can begin as soon as possible.  With ongoing training and lifetime support for the team, the program seeks to provide a strong foundation for continued success and improvement in quality of life for both the veteran and the dog.  Together, they can make a difference in each other’s lives and give each other hope for a better tomorrow.   

For more information on the Helping Hounds Program, please visit <> or call 717-379-2511.



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