WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – Celebrity chef Robert Irvine visited paws4people’s campus in Castle Hayne Friday to present Army veteran Zack McNew and his service dog Bentley with their red vests for passing their final certifications.
The Robert Irvine Foundation, founded by Irvine, is a New leash on Life Sponsor of the paws4people’s paws4vets program, which places service dogs with veterans, first responders, and their families.
According to a news release, McNew and his Psychiatric Medical Alert Service dog are the first to benefit from the Robert Irvine Foundation sponsorship.
Zack spent six years active duty with the U.S. Army, as a Military Police officer. While serving, he was a Military Working Dog handler, and deployed to Iraq, where he was always on high alert for threats. As a result, he is diagnosed with PTSD. Zack experiences heightened anxiety, struggles with depression and feelings of survivor’s guilt, and often lacks the motivation and energy to leave his home and interact with society.
Among other things, Bentley is trained to help his owner by “anchoring” his anxiety and paying attention when out in public to cut down on McNew’s hyper-vigilance.
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