It's no secret, First Responders are on the frontline of our community's most horrific emergency situations, putting them at at risk of clinical depression, anxiety, PTSD, suicidal ideations and other serious mental health & substance abuse issues.
If you or someone you know, is an active or retired First Responder, you are eligible to participate in Circle of Change's First Responder Dog Classes for FREE. These innovative dog training classes capitalize on the wonderful benefits of a bond between dogs and humans to help battle the symptoms that come with being on the frontlines and dealing with secondary trauma on a daily basis.
Circle of Change's Veterans Dog Program has been operating in Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin for close to 20 years. Thanks to a generous grant from the Winnebago County Community Mental Health Board (WCCMHB), we are now able to offer a class specifically to First Responders.
In class, participants will work under the supervision of professional dog trainer, Dave Schnidt, for over 35 years and specializes in protection training. Dogs in the program are pre-selected for classes based on their need for behavioral rehabilitation. However, FR may opt to bring their own dog to train, as long as the dog meets vaccination + safety requirements, and is cleared through our trainer in advance of the beginning the program.