Dogs for Heroes

By Erica Quednau |

Published 02/12 2014 09:59AM

Updated 02/12 2014 11:22AM

TILTON -- Pitbulls and American bulldogs are sometimes known as 'bully breeds" and often have a bad reputation but an area man is trying to change that. As WCIA-3's Erica Quednau explains, it's by pairing them up with another misunderstood group. 

"Dogs are always happy to see you, it doesn't matter if you're having a bad day, good day," said Andrew Hoskins. 

He spends his days training "bully breeds;" dogs that may be scary to some. 

"They always say, 'Oh I want to stay away from that dog, he's gonna bite me or she's gonna bite me. She's gonna attack on command,'" said Hoskins. 

It's a stereotype he says needs to be forgotten. So he rescues them from all over the country and trains them to help. 

"99.9% of them are really great dogs," said Hoskins. 

But this story isn't just about saving dogs' lives. 

"They're really good at picking up and keying in on at the therapy level as a service for what the veteran needs," said Hoskins. 

This story is about saving veterans' lives too. 

"The dog picks the veteran," said Hoskins. 

Like Hoskins. He, like many veterans, suffers from PTSD. 

"I had several night terrors if you will and very combative in my sleep," said Hoskins. 

But he realized dogs could be the cure. 

"They'll press up against you, nudge you on the back of the leg, on the back of the hand and or lick. It kind of brings you, brings you back and makes you focus," said Hoskins.

That's exactly what he trains them to do on a daily basis through his program called Dogs for Heroes. It's something which started through a personal experience.

"About three years ago, we got a puppy for my brother that served tours in Iraq and I saw a big difference. I saw the turn. It actually gave him a purpose. He had to get out of bed," said Hoskins.  

Now he teaches the bully breeds to do just that; Be the perfect companion to the veterans that are just as misunderstood as they are. 

"When they come back to you and say, 'Hey you know, it's made a big difference,' it's payment in full," said Hoskins. 

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