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Local program connects veterans, first responders with highly trained service dogs

Posted at 5:34 PM, Mar 13, 2019

Some Central Coast veterans and first responders with PTSD are receiving support through the New Life K9s service dog organization.

The organization shared details about their program during a special presentation at the Santa Maria Public Library on Wednesday.

The dogs start their service dog training at the California Men’s Colony. After about two years, they can be paired with a veteran or first responder.

Those who’ve received the dogs say they help relieve day-to-day stress.

“They are able to read you because they are so in tune with you. They read your anxiety and they are able to kind of take you out of that moment you’re feeling within yourself,” explained Rosa Mendoza, New Life K9s educator.

New Life K9s has given out about 10 service dogs since February of 2014.

The veterans and first responders who receive the dogs are not charged.

Donations for the program are welcomed. To find out more, visit