About Operation K9
Operation K9 is a joint program provided by two not-for-profit organisations; the South Australian Branch of the Returned & Services League (RSL SA) and the Royal Society for the Blind (RSB). Operation K9 dogs are provided to Veterans of the Australian Defence Forces (ADF) who have a diagnosed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). An Operation K9 dog is an accredited assistance dog that can provide benefits in terms of companionship, independence and assistance in social situations as well as range of client specific tasks tailed to the veteran's needs. It costs in excess of $25,000 to breed, raise and train each Operation K9 dog. RSL SA hopes this initiative with the RSB an be developed nation-wide to help all returned service men and women with PTSD.
Operation K9 dogs are being used to help returned soldiers identify flashback episodes and divert them from the darkness of depression.
Veteran's with PTSD often experience overwhelming bouts of anxiety and become withdrawn from normal social situations, seek solace in their own company, often turn to alcohol abuse and experience isolating depression. These symptoms can have a severe and devastating impact on the individual, the family unit and the general community.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who can apply for an Operation K9 dog?
To be eligible to apply for an Operation K9 Dog, the applicant must have served or currently be serving in the Australian Defence Force and have a diagnosed PTSD that has been acquired during a military operation. All applicants must be 18 years of age and a resident in South Australia.
How do I apply for an Operation K9 dog?
Initial enquiries regarding Operation K9 can be made through the RSB Guide Dog Service who can provide you with some information about the program and discuss your situation. They will also be able to put you in touch with the Operation K9 team if you think that the program might be suitable for you. The Operation K9 team will then undertake an assessment of your suitability for the program.
What are the Benefits of an Operation K9 Dog?
An Operation K9 dog is an accredited assistance dog that can provide benefits in terms of supporting independence and social interactions as well as a range of client specific tasks tailored to the veteran’s needs.
What does an Operation K9 Dog cost?
The only ongoing cost is dog food which will be provided at a reduced cost. All initial equipment will be provided to you by the Operation K9 team including a service coat that identifies an Operation K9 dog as an accredited assistance dog.
For more information on how to apply for an Operation K9 dog, please contact the RSB Guide Dog Service by calling (08) 8417 5656.