BRAVEHOUND Founder Fiona MacDonald and Gwyneth the Scotty with Eamon and Ruth.
Most veterans leave the Armed Forces and adapt well to civilian life, but some face real difficulties, in particular those with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. As owning a dog can improve companionship, promote exercise and encourage good food routines, they can be the perfect way to help ex-soldiers transition into civilian life.
Someone who recognised this was Bravehound’s founder and CEO Fiona MacDonald. She set up the Scottish Charity Bravehound in 2016 to help former servicemen, women and their families by providing them with trained companion dogs.
Ruth and Eamonn spoke to Fiona about Bravehound’s committed team go to great lengths to match veterans with suitable dogs. They are supported, every step of the way and the charity provides continuing help throughout the dog’s lifetime. As well as training and supporting the veterans from before they get the dog, Bravehound also helps them with pet insurance, feeding and equipment throughout the dog’s life.
So far, the charity has paired 17 dogs with veterans and there are currently 15 puppies in training getting ready to go to their new homes. They have weekly meets and dog shows that the dog’s and their owners can take part in, which helps the ex-servicemen and women to re-engage with social events.
Thanks to Fiona’s vision, Bravehound has transformed the lives of many ex-service men and women, many of whom say that they would not be here if it were not for their dogs.