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Companions For Heroes Comes To North Texas

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FARMERS BRANCH (CBS 11 NEWS) - Jason Allen doesn’t shy away from telling his story.

“I was on a lot of medications. Nothing worked,” he explained. Allen is a Plano resident and veteran with the U.S. Marine Corps.  He also endures post-traumatic stress disorder. He tried a variety of methods of easing his outbursts, anger and stress. He says a little dog in a shelter changed it all.

“He just sat there, and I said, I have to take him home,” Allen recounted. The dog would become a partner and friend, and Allen became a spokesman for Companions for Heroes. The program matches adoptive pets at area animal shelters with military members, law enforcement personnel and paramedics who’ve faced traumatic stress disorder.

For the first time, a Texas animal adoption location is taking part in the Companions for Heroes program. The City of Farmers Branch’s Animal Adoption Center is now a designated location for the Companions program. There is a selection of dogs and cats ready for anyone interested.

Esther Strother manages the Farmers Branch operation. Their mission is to find homes for the pets, and also provide a supportive partner for the man or woman in need.

“Anyone suffering from PTSD, its worthwhile for them. Everyone benefits,” she said.

The Veterans Administration hospital in Dallas provides pet therapy for patients, but the hospital is not a part of the companion program. Anyone wishing to find out more about Companions for Heroes can access www.companionsforheroes.org

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