Pairing vets with the dogs who change their lives - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Pairing vets with the dogs who change their lives

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - A North County non-profit is helping veterans who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other problems related to their service by using German Shepherds.

K9 Guardians is a relatively new non-profit, but its founder Leisa Grajek said they already have facilities to raise up to 40 service dogs per year.

"Our veterans just mean the world to us at K9 Guardians and we want to show that appreciation in every way we possibly can," said Grajek.

Oden is a German Shepherd who is learning how to be a service dog for a war hero. It will take 18-months of training to prepare him for adoption.

"I think he's going to be a really good dog for a veteran with stability issues," said Grajek.

After 20-years in The Marines, veteran William Tiller needed some support. "If you would have met me ten or 15-years-ago, you probably would not have liked me," said Tiller.

Tiller applied to K9 Guardians and teamed up with Cricket two months ago.

"She's learning to wake me up when I'm having nightmares. She'll get up with me," he said.

During his interview with CBS News 8, Tiller wore a shirt with the number 22 printed on it. It's the number of veterans who commit suicide very day.

He believes K9 Guardians can help bring that number down, and that's exactly what the group's founder loves to hear.

To apply for a K9 Guardian, a veteran must have an honorable discharge and a disability that the service dog can assist.

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