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Ex-soldier gives up service dog after job search thwarted

Former Canadian soldier Kelly Malanik says she has had to give up the service dog that helped her cope with post-traumatic stress because she could not find a job.

Edmonton woman suffers from PTSD, told her pooch not welcome at work

Former Canadian soldier Kelly Malanik says she can't land a job because employers frown upon her PTSD service dog Lobo. (CBC)

A former Canadian soldier says she has had to give up the service dog that helped her cope with post-traumatic stress because she could not find a job.

Edmonton woman Kelly Malanik had Lobo for only six weeks, but was told by potential employers that the boxer-terrier mix was a "deal-breaker." Lobo, who was rescued from the streets of Mexico and trained as a service dog, helped Malanik deal with anxiety and stress, and had to be at her side at all times.

After a series of job rejections, she made the difficult decision to give up Lobo.

"It's just hard now because I don't have that motivation to get me out of the house to get me past that door," Malanik said.

"I want to get the job and I want to be able to carry on with my life."

Malanik drove large trucks with the military and hoped to transfer the experience into a career as a truck driver. She was diagnosed with PTSD a few years ago and acquired a service dog, figuring it would not be a problem if the dog stayed in the cab with her.

She is now in the process of moving to Calgary, and is being helped by Prospect, a career agency that helps former soldiers find work.

"There is a light at the end of the tunnel. I've got excellent people that I'm working with. I have had many job offers that I am looking into."

Malanik hopes that once she gets settled in a new job, she can get another service dog.

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