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Documentary Shows How Veterans With PTSD Find Comfort With Therapy Wolves

by Jess Catcher
Jess grew up in Oklahoma before moving to New York to become a writer. She has a cat named Agnes.

When you think of Los Angeles, your mind probably drums up images of movie stars and other celebs walking around to their glamorous showbiz brunches and auditions. You’re not wrong, of course, but if you venture just about an hour and a half north of all those glitzy folks, you might feel like you’ve crossed into a completely different world.

That’s where you’ll find the Lockwood Animal Rescue Center, a 20-acre sanctuary that is home to “feathered, furry, and fetlocked” animals in need of a forever home. You’ll also find an incredible program, known as Warriors and Wolves, where veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can find therapeutic comfort in caring for the fluffy wolves and wolf-dog hybrids. It not only gives the vets a sense of purpose, but also acceptance when they earn the trust of one of the fierce pack animals.

Founded in 2011 by Matt Simmons and Lorin Linder, countless military men and women have found comfort in the mutually beneficial relationship with these canines, as you’ll see below.

An upcoming documentary titled The War In Between chronicles two individuals participating in the program.

Filmmaker Riccardo Ferraris follows a former U.S. Marine, James, and former sniper in Afghanistan, Juan, as they meet and interact with their own special companions.

Like the soldiers who find it difficult to resume a “normal” life once out of the line of combat, the veterans’ humane approach to the rescued wolves allows them to develop and rehabilitate as members of society.

Under the careful supervision of the facility’s caretakers, it’s definitely one of the most unique options out there for those attempting to cope with trauma.

James, who served two tours of Iraq, battled alcoholism, and attempted suicide, is paired with Kiey, a gray wolf who was rescued from an Alaskan sideshow attraction.

Juan, who came to the facility after struggling to adapt to everyday life, is paired with Virginia, a young pup who was rescued from death row at a Sacramento shelter.

As you can see, like the men and women they befriend, each of the wolves have their own hardship that requires plenty of patience and love to overcome.

By spending time with the servicemen and women, the animals and humans are both able to provide that affection for each other with incredibly rewarding results.

Though it may seem like an unorthodox approach to rehabilitation, the program has proven to be a true life changer.

Take a look below to see a short clip of James interacting with his buddy, Keiy. It’s clear the two have formed an amazing bond! You can also find more information on the film’s Facebook page.

And don’t forget to SHARE this awesome program and film with your friends.

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