Annual gala aims to raise money to provided service dogs for military personnel and first responders with an OSI

Courageous Companions is hosting its second annual PAWS for PTSD Gala on Sept. 14. The organization hopes to raise money to pair more military veterans and first responders with service dogs.

Courageous Companions pairs military veterans and first responders living with Operational Stress Injuries (OSI) to service dogs. The organization relies on events like the PAWS for PTSD Gala to raise the funds to provide service dogs.

Service dogs are known to make a considerable positive impact in the lives of those living with OSIs.

“I have a service dog from Courageous Companions, and she has changed my life. She has actually saved my life. If it weren’t for her, I would be turtled at home, not moving. I’m actually in an office at work right now, and that wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for her,” said Julie Letal, a member of the Courageous Companions board of directors and a Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officer.

Service dogs encourage those with OSIs to once again go out in public and care for life again, says Letal.

It takes anywhere from 12-24 months for a service dog to become fully certified, and each dog costs between $15,000 and $20,000.

Last year’s sold-out gala, the first of its kind, raised just under $25,000 which in turn allowed Courageous Compassions to purchase one dog for a veteran.

This year funds have been low for the organization, so they have not been able to place too many dogs this year.

“We’re hoping that the gala brings in a bit so we can place a few more dogs,” said Letal.

Attendees of the gala will be treated to a night of comedic and musical entertainment from Matt Day, speeches from guest speakers, delicious dinner, a live auction, and a silent auction.

Courageous Companions’ second annual PAWS for PTSD Gala will be held Sept. 14 at the Dutch Canadian Centre, Edmonton Alberta.

Tickets are $80 per person. To purchase tickets, click here.

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Mishall Rehman

Originally from Atlanta, GA, Mishall is a freelance journalist pursuing her passion for writing in her new homeland Canada. She currently lives in Trenton, ON with her husband.

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