Giving veterans a helping hand, and paw - New York News

Giving veterans a helping hand, and paw

Posted: Updated:
TAMPA (FOX 13) -

It was love at first sight for veteran Steven Shepard and his dog, Zoe.

"We've been working together for two days now and she's gone from an excitable puppy to she's starting to get into it," Shepard explained.

Shepard and Zoe are both in training. Together, they're learning to be service dog and master.

Thanks to K-9's for Veterans, a not-for-profit program in Tampa, disabled veterans like Shepard are paired up with the perfect pooch.

Mike Halley served eight years in the Marine Corps, including two tours in Vietnam. He spent the next nine years suffering with PTSD and finally began his recovery when he got a Doberman pincher.

That's when he found his calling and started K-9's for Veterans.

"If I can help the veterans, that's my goal. Whatever it takes," he told FOX 13.

In the last five years, Halley has helped 85 disabled veterans and soldiers -- with issues from PTSD to traumatic brain injury -- find hope again.

"I can get someone with really, really bad post-traumatic stress disorder and turn it around in two days, just with the dog," he continued.

Halley already sees a change in Shepard after only a couple days with Zoe. He's smiling more, focusing less on his disability and more on the dog.

Shepard sees it too and hopes Zoe can help him break free of his PTSD and get him out of the house more to exercise and socialize.

"You just feel the love, you know. It's tough when you're living alone," he said.

Not anymore. When Shepard goes back home to Boston, he'll be leaving with his new friend, Zoe.

MORE INFO: http://www.k9sforveterans.org/

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Savion Glover, the master teacher

    Savion Glover, the master teacher

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 10:31 PM EDT2014-08-21 02:31:51 GMT
    While the rest of us merely march to the beat of our own drum, Savion Glover is the drum. The tap dance superstar has dazzled audiences from the small screen to the big screen from the White House to the Great White Way. More than just a legend, Savion has become a curator of tap. He is on a mission to keep the craft sacred for future generations.
    While the rest of us merely march to the beat of our own drum, Savion Glover is the drum. The tap dance superstar has dazzled audiences from the small screen to the big screen from the White House to the Great White Way. More than just a legend, Savion has become a curator of tap. He is on a mission to keep the craft sacred for future generations.
  • Fatal boat explosion on Long Island

    Fatal boat explosion on Long Island

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 9:56 PM EDT2014-08-21 01:56:27 GMT
    Detectives from the Nassau County Homicide Squad are investigating an explosion that destroyed a boat, burned two docks, and killed one person in Manorhaven on Wednesday afternoon. Two dock workers and two boaters were gassing up a docked 33-foot Carver motor boat just after 2:45 p.m. when an explosion tore through the boat, setting it and the dock on fire, police said.
    Detectives from the Nassau County Homicide Squad are investigating an explosion that destroyed a boat, burned two docks, and killed one person in Manorhaven on Wednesday afternoon. Two dock workers and two boaters were gassing up a docked 33-foot Carver motor boat just after 2:45 p.m. when an explosion tore through the boat, setting it and the dock on fire, police said.
  • Helmsley Building lights up in gold

    Going gold for pediatric cancer research

    Going gold for pediatric cancer research

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 9:22 PM EDT2014-08-21 01:22:24 GMT
    The Helmsley Building in Manhattan went gold Wednesday night in honor of children with cancer. The owners also plan to do the same in September for Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month.Other city landmarks that will go gold next month include Times Square, the Coney Island Parachute jump, and all of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.
    The Helmsley Building in Manhattan went gold Wednesday night in honor of children with cancer. The owners also plan to do the same in September for Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month.Other city landmarks that will go gold next month include Times Square, the Coney Island Parachute jump, and all of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices