Huron Valley Chapter
Stiggy’s Dogs is a 501(c)(3) organization that rescues and trains shelter dogs to be psychiatric service dogs for military veterans living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (“PTSD”) or Traumatic Brain Injury (“TBI”). The psychiatric service dogs are trained and deployed at no cost to the veteran.
Stiggy’s Dogs was founded by Jennifer Petre in memory of her nephew, HM3 Benjamin Phillip “Doc Stiggy” Castiglione. Doc Stiggy dedicated his life to preserving and improving the physical and emotional health of those serving in his unit, and all who serve. He gave his life working as a Corpsman in Helmand Province in Southern Afghanistan, taking care of “his Marines” until September 3rd 2009. HM3 Benjamin “Doc Stiggy” Castiglione, was respected by his Marines and known for his determination, professionalism mixed with sharp wit. To his family he is remembered for his caring nature, his love for family and dogs.
Stiggy’s Dogs all pass the Canine Good Citizen ® Certification test and then are paired with their handlers for further training. Since each veteran has unique qualities and needs, each dog is individually trained to meet that veteran’s needs. Stiggy’s Dogs offers the veteran and dog pairing a lifetime of support after deployment.
Studies have shown that 1 in 8 soldiers returning from Afghanistan and Iraq will have some symptoms of PTSD. Feelings of anxiety, depression and detachment make returning to civilian life difficult for these veterans. Those veterans living with TBI have their own unique needs. Studies have also shown that 82% of patients with PTSD who were assigned a service dog had a decrease in symptoms. This includes a decreased need for medication in 40% of the patients studied.
There are an estimated five million dogs sitting in shelters across America, many of whom will be euthanized. Many of these dogs could make an excellent service dog for a veteran living with PTSD and/or TBI. By uniting the two, we are Rescuing One to Rescue Another.
To learn more about Stiggy’s Dogs and/or make a donation, visit their web site at: http://stiggysdogs.org/
Below is a photo of Past Secretary and Past 2nd Vice President Phil Jackson presenting a $500 check to Christine Myran, Executive Director of Stiggy’s Dogs on February 23, 2018 on behalf of our chapter.