Fairmont State welcomes emotional support dog for Veterans

Friday, October 05, 2018

Fairmont State University’s Veteran Services has received the first ever college placement of a dog from Dogs2DogTags, a nonprofit, that works to place dogs with veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. 

Sandra Corwin, veterans certifying official, advocate and financial aid counselor for the University, said the idea of getting a dog for the veterans at Fairmont State University came after seeing how much of a difference a dog made for her son when he returned home from Afghanistan. 

“After seeing how much his dogs helped him with what he had experienced in Afghanistan, I started looking around at the different dog shelters and places,” she said. “I was talking one day and one of our veterans, Matthew Moore, said he knew someone who could help.” 

That’s where Torre Willadsen, founder and president of Dogs2DogsTags, came in. Moore reached out to Willadsen and Corwin said one thing led to another and that’s how Tobey came about. 

“We ended up going to New York to get Tobey and he came here. He was here as a temporary dog, but the veterans fell in love with him and Torre decided to leave him with us,” she said. “That’s how it all started, my desire to help the veterans and to have a dog that if they were upset or angry, to come play ball with, Tobey will just lick them and it changes everything.” 

Corwin said Tobey is really great at making people feel like someone is there for them and someone cares. 

“I’ve just seen how there are some people who come in more now since Tobey’s been here and it’s just made it feel like this is a safe place for them to come to,” she said. 

Tobey is a year-old Black Lab and has been at the University for a month. 

Tobey along with Corwin and Moore will be featured on 4Outdoors starring Brett Favre with Dogs2DogTags sponsored by Petco. 

Canine companionship can make a real difference in the fight against an incredibly high suicide rate among veterans while saving lives of canines stuck in shelters and otherwise subject to euthanasia. 

Dogs2DogTags rescues canines and trains them to work with the veterans. From acquiring the dog to giving it to the veteran can cost, it anywhere from $30,000-$50,000. Dogs2DogTags takes care of all of those expenses. 

More information about the nonprofit can be found by visiting www.dogs2dogtags.com and previous episodes are at 4outdoors.com.