LEXINGTON, N.C. -- Saving Grace K9's hopes to create a sanctuary for veterans living with PTSD on a quiet piece of land in Tyro.
The Lexington-based nonprofit has helped pair more than 80 veterans with service dogs, but Director Brigette Parsons Dean said the organization is ready to grow.
“What we have found with our veterans who have graduated is they need the camaraderie with other guys. That’s part of the program. Once they graduate they haven’t been coming back. Or they want to come back, but there’s not enough room because we’re not big enough,” Dean said.
She said plans for the retreat and training center include outdoor spaces and an obstacle course for the dogs.
"The land is going to have a pond, and my vision is to have like a pavilion with picnic tables and a grill, so they can come out with their families if they want to,” Dean said.
Her husband, James Dean, is a veteran of the US Marine Corp. He said that the retreat would be invaluable for those still acclimating after serving their country.
“Being able to go out in the woods and just sit or walk trails or go fish or do something relaxing helps keep our minds off what we’ve been through,” James Dean said.
Brigette Dean has submitted her plans to the Davidson County Planning and Zoning Commission, but the piece of land off Sink Farm Road still has be re-zoned for their use.
People living nearby said they supported the proposed plans.
"I think it’s a really good idea, not only for the veterans but for the community,” said Susan Leonard, who lives in the area.