Scott and Donovan

Moving Forward Together

Donovan is not just a tall, sweet, sometimes drooly black lab. He is the catalyst for positive transformation in the lives of so many who have been a part of his journey to becoming an At Ease service dog.Donovan was trained by inmate trainers in the Prison Training Program at the RJD Correctional Facility, where inmates are given the opportunity for self-improvement and rehabilitation through the experience of training a service dog and learning positive reinforcement training methods.  Donovan’s trainers took pride and care in training Donovan to meet the unique needs of his recipient.Donovan now supports Scott, a Navy veteran with mobility limitations and PTSD, by performing retrieval and deep pressure input to address symptoms of hypervigilance and anxiety.  “Before Donovan, I didn’t go outside if I could help it, he gives me a reason to keep going… The way the POOCH trainer customized him to me, him walking on my left side, the retrieval, the tasks, I couldn’t ask for anything more.”With the mobility assistance Donovan provides, Scott now has the ability, motivation and independence to pursue the life he desires. “I was in a state of isolation and he broke me out of that shell.”  Donovan is a true example of TLCAD’s mission to transform lives with service dogs.