WHAT WE DO
Hearts 4 Heroes Corp. “H4HUS” is a 501(c)(3) organization that provides equine-assisted and canine-assisted therapy to U.S. veterans suffering from physical and psychological impairments, including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
H4HUS offers this support to veterans free of charge. H4HUS has programs designed to incorporate equine and canine therapy in connection with services of licensed social workers and mental health care practitioners. H4HUS targets its services to veterans who have completed service or cannot return to service due to medical reasons in addition to active service members between tours.
The equine-assisted programs set goals for the veteran to learn a specific task, solve problems, build teams and relationships, and increase confidence and self-esteem. These programs include handling horses on the ground, grooming school, equine assisted riding, therapeutic driving, and combined driving (team driving).
H4HUS programs, and its volunteers, use the Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) and Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA) models. Such certification ensures that training is established for non-verbal communication, problem solving, taking responsibility, relationship building and teamwork, and Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP).
H4HUS works with both the Therapeutic Equestrian Center “TEC” facility in Cold Spring, New York and Gossamer Farms in Cameron, North Carolina where it operates programs out of these existing facilities and resources.
TEC is an established 501(c)(3) organization that has a suitable facility, trained therapy horses and network of certified volunteers. Gossamer Farms is located near Southern Pines, North Carolina, in close proximity to the Fort Bragg military base where many of our military return to from abroad. H4HUS hopes to establish similar type programs in New Jersey in the future.
In addition to the equine-assisted programs, H4HUS provides canine-assisted therapy programs where certified therapy dogs and handlers visit veterans’ hospitals for those unable to leave due to injury or mental health reasons.
This year, as new program, H4HUS has partnered with K2 Solutions, Inc. “K2” to create a canine handling program for veterans. K2 is one of the finest canine programs of its kind, specializing in training dogs for military, security and search and rescue work.
As more veterans return from deployment overseas, K2 is expanding their efforts to facilitate the training of service dogs that can help those coping with psychological. In a unique approach designed to help canines and humans alike, K2 will be covering the “kill” shelters in North Carolina to procure suitable dogs to participate in this program.
Once the dog has undergone an extensive 5 month training program, it will be matched up with a veteran. These newly formed partnerships will participate in team building exercises, problem solving tasks, and participate in a 10-week curriculum. Our H4HUS mental health specialists will be present during all phases of the program. Upon completion of this program, veterans will be given the option to permanently adopt their canine partner.
If any dogs are not adopted, they will be moved forward into the next group of veterans coming through our canine program. It is our hope that this team building will restore some of the loss of unit, structure, camaraderie and friendship that certain of our veterans are missing.