PTSD Assistance Dogs

Helping Veterans highest priority at Ivanhoe RSL

2 years ago, on 21 April 2017, the Ivanhoe RSL building burnt to the ground, but despite the setback, the members remain focused on helping Australian Defence Force Veterans by sponsoring two PTSD Assistance Dogs.

“Today, we are proud to present a cheque for $15,000 to The Defence Bank Foundation to sponsor two PTSD Assistance Dogs.” said John Beezley, President of the Ivanhoe RSL.

Ivanhoe President Mr John Beezley presenting cheque to Mr David Marshall, alongside Veteran Ron

The dogs will be trained by the Defence Community Dogs program and will be specifically taught how to support Veterans suffering injuries and illnesses including Post-traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD). The dogs will be trained and provided to two Veterans at no cost to them thanks to the generosity of the Ivanhoe RSL and the Defence Bank Foundation.

Mr Beezley said “whilst we continue to raise funds to rebuild our RSL Club, our members thought it was important to make sure we keep helping our Defence Force Veterans.”

“We identified The Defence Community Dogs program as a program that was practically helping our Veterans and making an enormous difference to the lives of Veterans suffering from PTSD which is an insidious condition affecting many current Veterans. Our members have been very focused on raising funds so that we could sponsor two of these dogs”

Mr David Marshall, a Trustee of the Defence Bank Foundation and CEO of Defence Bank said “we are very appreciative of the donation from the Ivanhoe RSL Club. It means we can rescue and train two more dogs to support our Veterans in need.”

“The Defence Bank Foundation has helped over 40 Veterans to get Assistance Dogs through the Defence Community Dogs program over the past 3 years.” Said Mr Marshall. “We are extremely proud that we can help Veterans in this way, but the program is also helping in other ways. All the dogs are rescue dogs and the dogs are actually trained by inmates at prisons under the watchful eye of professional dog trainers.”

“We like to call this proram a WIN:WIN:WIN program. It provides abandoned dogs with a second chance, rehabilitates inmates and saves the lives of Australian Defence Force Veterans suffering from PTSD.”

Veteran Ron and his PTSD Assistance Dog Yogi, with him Ivanhoe RSL President and Secretary Mr John Beezley and Mrs Jackie Maud

Ron, a Veteran and past dog recipient said “My dog Yogi helps me every day. He stops me from having night terrors. He wakes me up before the night terrors take hold by detecting my breathing patterns. He will turn on the light, climb on the bed, even lick my face to stop the night terrors taking hold. Before Yogi I was only getting one to two hours sleep due to the night terrors. “

“I’ve also been able to reduce my medication by over half of what it was before Yogi.”

“He’s my constant companion. He’s got my back, so I now know I’m going to be OK. We are a complete unit. Inseparable. And I have my life back thanks to my dog, Yogi.”

It costs over $7,500 to train a Defence Community Dog to the standard of Assistance Dog. If you’d like to find out more about getting one of these dogs or if you’d like to make a donation to help train more of these dogs for our Veterans, visit

For further information please contact:
Leanne Kyle
Executive Manager
The Defence Bank Foundation
M: 0402 116 707

About the Defence Bank Foundation
The Defence Bank Foundation is a registered charity which raises funds to support serving and ex-serving Australian Defence Force members suffering from injuries or illnesses such as PTSD. The sole beneficiary of The Foundation is the Defence Community Dogs program.

The Administration costs to run The Foundation are met by The Defence Bank to make sure that all donated funds are available to train the dogs and support Veterans during and after handover. Funds are raised through direct Bank donations to the Foundation, staff fundraising, member donations and dog sponsorships.

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