'Pets for Vets' changing lives for veterans suffering from PTSD - KMOV.com

'Pets for Vets' changing lives for veterans suffering from PTSD

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Carrie Riley, a former Senior Master Sergeant in the Air Force and her service dog, Scarlett. (Credit: CBS Carrie Riley, a former Senior Master Sergeant in the Air Force and her service dog, Scarlett. (Credit: CBS

(KMOV.com) - There is a renewed effort taking place across the country to help veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as other brain injuries.

It's a program that works to unite pets with veterans, and it's doing a world of good.

For example, just a year ago, Carrie Riley was an entirely different person before getting help from the program.

"Didn't really want to talk to people anymore. Kind of closed myself into my home where I felt safe," Riley described.

Serving as a Senior Master Sergeant in the Air Force Reserves for 25 years, Riley suffered a fall in 2010 causing a traumatic brain injury.

"My doctor felt that I needed a service dog to assist me with PTSD and traumatic brain injury because I was having issues and he felt the dog would be a good asset to get me out of the house," said Riley.

Last year, Riley's life changed forever with the help of a new four-legged friend.

"My dog's name is Scarlet and I've had her since June of 2016," she said.

Riley, from Little Rock, was helped by a local organization that provides service dogs to veterans suffering from PTSD and mobility issues.  

"She gets me up and moving because a lot of times I would just sit and just time would pass, and I had no idea what I had done all day," Riley said.

But, with Scarlet, Riley feels a sense of normalcy.  Riley had been seeing and now has found a forever friend.

St. Louis has a similar organization that works to unite veterans and dogs in need of adoption.  It's called "Pets for Vets" and if you would like to help, click here.

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