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Support Dogs Provides Assistance Dog to First Female Veteran

Woman suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, gets help from assistance dog.

St. Louis, MO, March 17, 2013 --( Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is typically associated with men returning from war. Yet women suffer from the same affliction and need similar assistance to deal with daily life. Theresa Aldrich, who served in the U.S. Navy for eight years in a Naval Aviation Squadron, sought help…and found it with a 66 pound canine named Cinder.

Cinder was one of five dogs who recently graduated from Support Dog’s Assistance Dog Program and now lives with Theresa in her South City home. Theresa is the first female veteran suffering from PTSD to receive one of Support Dog’s dogs, which are trained to serve individuals with varying disabilities. The dogs, which cost $15,000 each to raise and train, are placed with disabled clients free of charge. Cinder is one of two Psychiatric Service Dogs funded by a grant from the Boeing Corporation.

Prior to Cinder, Theresa took a shower utilizing what she calls her "usual precautions: trash can in front of the door to make noise if someone entered, looking at the shower curtain constantly, and rushing out as quickly as possible." Other daily tasks that we all take for granted -- from walking around the block (Theresa had not done so in two years) to sleeping through the night -- are now possible due to Cinder's presence and assistance.

Support Dogs, Inc. is a national non-for-profit organization that offers dignity, hope and independence by providing highly skilled service dogs to individuals with disabilities and uniquely trained dogs to serve the community. Founded in 1983, the organization provides many services including an Assistance Dog program which matches people with various disabilities with a canine partner, an animal-assisted therapy dog program called TOUCH (Therapy of Unique Canine Helpers), and a Paws For Reading program that places dogs in school. Support Dogs is a proud member of the United Way of Greater St. Louis.

For more information, call (314) 997-2325 or visit the organization’s web site at
Contact Information
Support Dogs
Rochelle Brandvein
(314) 997-2325
Ann Weinerth at

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