The Highland-Fayette-Clinton (HFC) Safety Council welcomed CPT. Louis “Louie” A. Belluomini and Star-K9 as the featured speaker at their 2019 CEO Luncheon held in Washington Court House on June 17.
Louie and Star presented on “PTSD Awareness & What to Know About Service Dogs” to a captive audience of business leadership representing the tri-county area.
Included in the presentation was an excerpt from the Emmy Award-winning documentary, “A New Leash on Life: The K9s for Warriors Story,” which features Louie and Star’s story.
Louie served in the Army for nine years, where he worked as a psychological operations specialist and military police officer. He was honorably discharged as a Captain in 2015 after serving a tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Louie suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and a traumatic brain injury after his deployments, and pursued a treatment plan involving a k9 when medication or counseling didn’t completely solve the issues or failed.
Louie and Star were paired together by K9s for Warriors, the nation’s largest provider of service dogs to military veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury and/or Military Sexual Trauma as a result of military service post-9/11.
Star, a two-year-old golden retriever-lab mix, and Louie are never apart and she performs tasks for Louie that he cannot do on his own.
Louie has worked as a paramedic in the local communities for the past 10 years, and currently works at Hanco EMS in Findlay, Ohio, and as a paramedic at Putnam County EMS in Ottawa, Ohio. Star also works on the ambulance with him and is the first dog in the country to actively work on an ambulance with her handler.
Since Star works on the ambulance, she is also cross-trained to track and search for people in case they have a lost victim they respond to.
The HFC Safety Council was proud to make a $1,500 donation in Louie and Star’s honor to the K9s for Warriors program. Learn more about the program at www.k9sforwarriors.org.