Man's best friend supports vets

By Erica Quednau |

Published 02/26 2014 05:43PM

Updated 02/26 2014 05:47PM

ROBERTS -- They're called man's best friend for a reason. They're great listeners, never judge and they're pretty cute to boot! But, those bundles of fur are taking companionship to the next level. These Golden Retriever pups are being sent to North Carolina to become therapy dogs to veterans. WCIA-3's Erica Quednau meets the puffs of fluff.

That's what these dogs were born to do. Judy Casper is from Cissna Park. She bred her dog, Annie, to have those puppies; not to sell, but to help veterans across the US who are suffering PTSD.

"Dogs love you regardless of what you do. They are sympathetic and understanding. They know when you're feeling down and I am going to miss this guy something terrible."

Because Judy didn't choose this bundle of fur. He chose her.

"From the moment that he got to moving around, when his eyes go to pen, and I would sit in the pen with the puppies, he would come to me. He would come to me and sit on my lap."

This is Derby. The Golden Retriever pup doesn't belong to Judy.

"They had Golden Retrievers there for therapy dogs. I fell in love with them."

So when her dog, Annie, had puppies, they were going to the Patriot Rovers. It's an organization which trains dogs to help veterans with PTSD.

"It helps. A lot of the dogs are rescue dogs and then it helps the veteran who's receiving the dog. Plus, it helps the gold star family that loses the service member. It keeps their memory alive."

Like Judy's son, Levi Derby.

"He was not there, but only a few weeks and 9/11 happened. They hit the towers."

Levi suffered from PTSD after serving in Afghanistan. In 2007, he killed himself.

"I wish now that maybe, if he had had a dog to go to when he was having his really down moments, feeling like he had the weight of the world on his shoulders, like nobody cared, he would have the unconditional love of a dog."

Love that Derby can now give someone else.

"Even though my son didn't get help in time, to be able to save his life, maybe he can save someone else's life."

All dogs sent to the Patriot Rovers are named after fallen veterans. Judy is sending two of her puppies there, Derby and Nicholas. He's named after another soldier who died in February. It costs more than $12,000 to train a dog.

For more information or to help, click here.

Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Featured Coupon


Featured Business