PTSD service dog in training at CFB Edmonton
Ortona the service dog is in bootcamp to learn to help military members overcome PTSD
Ortona the Labrador mix is reporting for duty.
The service dog is being trained at CFB Edmonton, a first for the military base. And the pup has a very special job.
Ortona will receive training to learn to help Canadian Forces members recover from PTSD.
Other service dogs have been on the base before, but this puppy is the first Assistance Dog International (ADI) certified dog being trained in the care of a CFB Edmonton member.
Born on Feb. 8, 2016, in Ontario, Ortona was flown to Edmonton in early May to begin training with Capt. Donna Riguidel.
"What you have are members that are so traumatized, that they can't even access conventional therapy," Riguidel said. "A service dog can be a way through that."
On-base training for Ortona will continue for 18 months, then he will be assessed and placed in the PTSD or autism stream of specialty training.