‘They’re our battle buddies’: Horry County veteran training PTSD service dogs to help veterans

Published: May. 22, 2023 at 4:43 PM EDT|Updated: May. 22, 2023 at 7:31 PM EDT
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HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - After nearly 19 years serving as military police and special forces, Army Green Beret Keith Holland retired and moved to the Grand Strand looking for a new start.

Holland said he was gifted his dog, Quill, and just last year started his non-profit, Joint Task Force K9s.

MORE INFORMATION | Joint Task Force K9s

“He keeps me from having the deep, dark thoughts. He keeps me pointed in a direction,” said Holland.

Now, Holland trains dogs specifically for veterans and even law enforcement officers with disabilities.

The dogs are donated to him by a breeder in Florida to become trained for veterans all across the country.

Holland said he’s teaming up with two Grand Strand doctors to prove how these dogs make a difference.

“Another thing that we do that’s different than everybody else, is we don’t train with toys, treats, or balls, or anything like that. It takes us a little longer because we don’t but we really want the dogs to work for the handlers, not the reward,” said Holland.

Holland personally trains and gives dogs to veterans all across the country who deal with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

He said he trains the dogs himself to sense cortisol levels in their partner to actually prevent an attack from happening.

“They’re our battle buddies,” said Holland. “When I left the service, I had been in seven different combat deployments and I didn’t have my battle buddy no more when I came home.”

Everything he does, he said, is done through the support of community donations.

For more information visit his website here.