National PTSD Awareness Month Recognizing Resources

Written by K9 Partners for Patriots

June 8, 2022

Discover why flea markets may not be the best environment for service dogs.

Learn about risks, distractions, and considerations for handlers.

1. Crowded Environment: Flea markets are often bustling with crowds, which can be overwhelming for a service dog. The dog may become stressed or anxious in such a busy atmosphere.

2. Distractions: Flea markets are filled with various sights, sounds, and smells that can distract a service dog from its duties. This could potentially compromise its ability to assist its handler effectively.

3. Unpredictable Behavior of Other Animals: Other visitors to the flea market may bring their pets along, which can lead to encounters with unfamiliar animals. This may pose a risk to the safety and focus of the service dog.

4. Risk of Injury: With so many people moving around and browsing items, there’s an increased risk of accidental tripping or stepping on the service dog, which could lead to injury.

5. Exposure to Unsanitary Conditions: Flea markets may not always maintain the cleanest environment, and the service dog may come into contact with unsanitary surfaces or substances.

6. Lack of Accommodation for the Dog: Flea markets may not be equipped to handle service dogs properly, such as providing suitable resting areas, water, or relief spots for the dog.

7. Potential Stress for the Dog: A flea market’s constant stimulation and unfamiliar surroundings could cause stress or discomfort for the service dog, which may affect its overall well-being and ability to perform its tasks.

Given these factors, it’s important for service dog handlers to carefully consider whether taking their dog to a flea market is truly necessary and in the best interest of the dog’s welfare and effectiveness in assisting its handler.

National PTSD Awareness Month is observed annually in June. The month is dedicated to raising awareness about the condition and how to access treatment. June 27th is also National PTSD Awareness Day.

Recognizing resources during National PTSD Awareness Month

Did you know that 8 million Americans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) each year, many of them military veterans? People diagnosed with PTSD often have lived through or been a witness to a traumatic event and may suffer from intense flashbacks or intrusive thoughts related to what occurred. June is National PTSD Awareness Month, which aims to highlight the treatment options that veterans (and others affected by the disorder) can pursue to improve their quality of life.

One such treatment is the free, six-month service dog program championed by K9 Partners for Patriots. This Brooksville-based nonprofit organization operates under the mindset that not all scars are visible. Its mission is to prevent veteran suicide by teaching vets with PTSD and other forms of trauma to train their own service dog, provided by the program at no cost to the vet). 

To qualify for the K9 Partners for Patriots program, you must be an active or former military vet who can provide proof of diagnosis of service-related PTSD, a traumatic brain injury (TBI), or military sexual trauma (MST). Vets are not required to have served in combat to qualify. Veterans also must have documented proof of an honorable character of service on their DD214 Long Form. To find out if you or a loved one may qualify for the K9 Partners for Patriots program, find the complete list of qualifications at

The K9 Partners for Patriots program requires veterans to attend weekly 90-minute class sessions for 24 consecutive weeks. During the first three weeks in the program, veterans will sit in on classes held at the training facility simply to observe. Training courses typically do not exceed more than ten veterans per class, and in time, these cohorts become each other’s community.

Each veteran is paired with a dog that has been pre-vetted by the organization and is a perfect fit for the individual veteran. Sometimes, veterans’ own dogs may be permitted to be trained as service dogs, but the organization must evaluate and approve it first. After being matched up, dogs are rescued from local shelters and belong to the vets. Pups and patriots complete 21 weeks of hands-on training courses that teach the veterans how to train their dogs and help the dogs learn how to work for them. Once veterans graduate from the program, they will have successfully trained their companions to be able to work as service dogs for them in any setting. Dogs must be recertified by the organization each year. 

Does this cause resonate with you? Take part in raising awareness for those who suffer from PTSD. During National PTSD Awareness Month, spread the word on social media, share essential resources such as the Veterans Crisis Line or register for the Step Up for PTSD Awareness Virtual Walk held in June. You can also support local organizations like K9 Partners for Patriots by becoming a volunteer. To fill out a volunteer form or learn more about the K9 Partners for Patriots program, visit the organization’s website at

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