PTSD is a vicious condition that doesn’t always have a “one size fits all” cure causing many veterans to avoid conventional methods and find comfort with animals. The Lockwood Animal Rescue Centre in Lockwood Valley, CA, gives veterans a chance to heal with a unique twist: the Warriors and Wolves program.
The Warriors and Wolves program brings together veterans suffering from PTSD and rescued wolf dogs under one roof to help one another with the healing process. The wolf dogs are known to be fiercely loyal to their chosen friends.
“There’s something about being part of nature, something about being around these animals. To even the most wounded veteran, they feel different. It keeps them a part of something greater than themselves,” said Matthew Simmons veteran and co-founder of the Lockwood Animal Rescue Centre.
The Rescue Centre is home to 40 animals. The program, launched in July 2011, offers both volunteer programs and support groups to veterans.
“The wolves notice you’re injured or something’s wrong with you. And they have their trauma, and we all have some type of trauma in life, so we kind of get that connection and one wolf will be your friend for life,” said Jesse Martinez a veteran and volunteer at the Centre.