An Army veteran and certified dog trainer is taking shelter dogs and teaming them up with veterans who suffer with PTSD, brain injuries and other challenges to improve the lives of both.
Mary Cortani, an Army Master Instructor of Canine Education, started Operation Freedom Paws in 2010 when a former Marine asked her about getting a service dog.
When she found out how long the wait was at formal institutions, Mary decided to use her training to help the veteran and others in the same situation.
"When we match dogs with veterans, we are helping them heal each other," said Mary.
In a 32-48 day program provided at no charge to participants, Operation Freedom Paws trains the individual to train their own dog, and then certify them together as a service dog team.
Mary is one of the finalists in "2012 CNN Heroes." More info and voting here.
Operation Freedoms Paws is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. All of their services are provided to veterans and others with disabilities at no cost to them.