Service dogs can provide a wide range of support for people with PTSD. This condition impacts portions of the brain that regulate emotions and fear responses. It is characterized by high anxiety, panic attacks, brittle emotions, debilitating triggers, and re-experiencing traumatic events through flashbacks and/or night terrors. It is common in veterans and first responders but can be experienced by anyone who has suffered through a traumatic event or series of traumatic events. Symptoms of PTSD frequently lead to isolation and serious depression.  (more…)

Whether a dog is a pet or a working dog, they all offer some level of emotional support to their owner regardless of their mental or physical condition. (more…)

April is the month of the military child, and children hold a special place in our hearts here at Guardian Angels. Many of our recipients suffer from PTS, and as a result, their children can be impacted by Intergenerational PTS. (more…)

What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

A TBI is caused by a violent blow, shock wave, or jolt to the head or body. It can also be caused by an object piercing the skull and entering the brain. When it comes to traumatic brain injuries (TBI), individuals experience different levels of severity and disability that result from the injury. (more…)

If you are looking for a way to gain education on the communication between people and dogs, understand dog behaviors and how to train your dog, check out Good Dogs! podcasts. (more…)

By Linda Jo Thornberg Owner, Higher Images

On December 7, 2022, Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, I had the pleasure of attending one of the most amazing events that I have ever attended, hosted by Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs. (more…)

Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs is proud to announce that they were presented with the Friend and Patriot of the Year Award, presented by the Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum Trust. This award was given to our organization to recognize our long-term support of veterans. (more…)

From November 14th through the 20th, we are celebrating National Apprenticeship Week! At Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs, our apprentices learn to play a vital role with our organization by helping to train our amazing service dogs to assist disabled recipients. (more…)

Potty training typically starts when the dog is a puppy, but many of these tips can be applied to adult dogs as well. When it comes to puppies, what they put in their mouth comes out the other way quickly, so they need to be taken out often. (more…)

At Guardian Angels, we teach the dog to walk nicely on the leash by first teaching them to be attentive to us. There is no collar or leash involved in the beginning. We use a yummy soft treat to reward them for their good behavior. It’s important to avoid crunchy treats because they take too long for the dog to chew, and by the time they finish them, they’ve forgotten what they were being rewarded for. (more…)

A dog is both a predator and a scavenger, so when he smells a trash can full of goodies, the scavenger part of him kicks in. Your dog getting into the trash is not only inconvenient for you, but it can also be dangerous for your dog. At Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs, we’ve put together some tips on how to help you teach your dog to stay out of the trash and how to safeguard the trash in case they do get into it. (more…)

When Guardian Angels goes into a shelter, we look for a medium to a large-sized dog because they have to be able to do various tasks, and a small dog is not size appropriate. A correct service dog needs to always have four on the floor to support its recipient, so a larger dog doesn’t get stepped on as easily in a crowd. (more…)

Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs has been recognized as the winner of the 2022 VETTY Award in the suicide prevention category, presented by the Academy of United States Veterans. Guardian Angels is a national 501(c)3nonprofit organization whose mission is to rescue, raise, train, and donate highly skilled medical service dogs to veterans, first responders and individuals to mitigate the challenges of both visible and invisible disabilities.

Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs’ recipients suffer from a myriad of disabilities, including PTS, military sexual trauma, traumatic brain injuries, diabetic and seizure disorders, mobility issues and more.

These disabilities can often lead to feelings of isolation and suicidal ideation for those affected. The highly trained service dogs that Guardian Angels provides to their recipients help to improve overall health and happiness, restore their sense of freedom and independence, and create a new normal full of possibilities.

Over the past 12 years, Guardian Angels has provided hundreds of service dogs to individuals across dozens of states in the U.S. To date, not a single Guardian Angels Medical Service Dog recipient has been lost to suicide.

“We are so proud of everyone connected with our organization,” says Carol Borden, Founder and CEO of Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs. “From staff to volunteers and foster trainers, everyone involved has played a fundamental role in advancing our mission of making a difference in the lives of veterans and our other recipients. It’s an honor to have our work once again recognized by the Academy of United States Veterans.”

This marks the nonprofit’s third VETTY win and fifth consecutive year as a finalist for the award. The organization previously won the award in 2021 for outstanding efforts in veterans’ suicide prevention, and awarded the 2018 VETTY for outstanding efforts in Veterans’ Mental Health. The Academy of United States Veterans established the annual VETTY awards to recognize those that contribute to the well-being of the veteran community.

The 7th annual VETTY award gala was held on April 23rd at the M Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs’ staff member and Army veteran, Sean O’Rourke was in Las Vegas, along with one of our incredible Service Dogs to accept the award from Assal Ravandi, Founder & CEO of the Academy of United States Veterans.

As he accepted the award on behalf of Guardian Angels O’Rourke said, “Let’s ensure the focus remains on all our veterans and helping them find healing and that beautiful new normal through extraordinary dogs. Thank you so very much for recognizing our labor of love”.

To learn more about how Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs works to prevent suicide among veterans and others affected by disabilities, visit

About Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs

 Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based in Williston, Florida and has grown into a nation-wide medical service dog organization. The organization rescues, raises, trains and then donates individually trained medical service dogs to veterans, first responders and others who suffer from disabilities including PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injury, diabetic and seizure disorders, mobility issues and more. Since their inception in 2010, Guardian Angels has donated and paired hundreds of individually trained medical service dogs with those in need. For more information, visit:



With the summer season upon us, it’s time to enjoy the warm weather and sunshine. While the summer weather is great for outdoor activities like swimming or relaxing in the backyard, the heat can be dangerous for your pet or medical service dog. At Guardian Angels, we have put together some tips to keep your dog safe and comfortable this summer.


According to the Brain Injury Association of America, more than 5.3 million or one in every 60 people in the United States live with a permanent brain-injury-related disability.

What Are The Symptoms of a Brain Injury?

Brain injuries have complex effects that vary widely from person to person. The symptoms of a brain injury depend on factors such as location, cause, and severity.

When it comes to brain injury symptoms, some will show up immediately following the traumatic incident, whereas other symptoms may show up days or weeks later.

The symptoms that a person who experiences a brain injury may experience include, but are not limited to:

  • Headaches
  • Seizures
  • Spasticity
  • Loss of Balance and Increased Dizziness
  • Sleep Problems
  • Reduced Cognition (Awareness or Comprehension)
  • Depression
  • Personality Changes

No two brain injuries are the same. This list only serves to show a snapshot of the symptoms that someone with a brain injury can experience.

How Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs Can Help

Our services dogs can assist someone with a brain injury in several ways, including:

  • Balance support
  • Retrieving dropped items
  • Alerting to nightmares to improve sleep patterns
  • Alerting prior to seizures and/or migraines
  • Mitigating depression

A service dog can make a significant impact in the lives of those struggling with a brain injury by helping them during a medical or emotional emergency, providing balance and security in public places, and aiding with memory-related daily tasks.

To learn more about Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs, contact us today.

Chris Weber

PreviousIn the Spotlight:  Chris Weber