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The man behind ‘Corsos for Heroes’ is helping war veterans heal, one dog at a time

Harry Toro, the man behind Corsos for Heroes, sitting down with two Cane Corso dogs
(Image credit: Fox13)

Corsos for Heroes may just be one of the most inspiring organizations we’ve ever come across and it’s all thanks to one man - dog breeder, Harry Toro.

“I started this four years ago because one of my family members came back from the war and they were having some issues and at that time I was breeding dogs and I donated a dog to him. About three weeks later, his wife calls me up and says JR, he’s really doing a lot better since he got the dog.”

It was after hearing about his family members' transformation that Toro began to realize that more people could benefit from having a Cane Corso companion in their life.

“We found another army veteran that was disabled and he needed a dog. I found out the day he was coming out of the hospital and drove to North Carolina with a puppy and donated it to him and today he’s fine, his world is great, he loves life, the dog is taking care of him 24/7, he’s getting off of his meds and he’s socializing.”

Toro says that many veterans stop going out and socializing with others, choosing instead to isolate themselves and stay at home. He believes the dogs give veterans a reason to get back out into the world.

“With our dogs, when I donate them to a disabled vet or a first responder, what they’ve gotta do is they’ve got to walk the dog now and that gives them a purpose in life.”

Because Cane Corso’s are a rare breed, Toro feels that they become a talking point that enables veterans to interact with those they come into contact with. “Everybody wants to know what kind of dog this is because they’re so beautiful, so that gives the soldier a reason to talk more about his dog.” 

The dogs are trained to be able to assist the veterans with daily living, including opening refrigerator doors and being able to support their weight if they fall down and need to lean on their pup in order to get back up again.

Corsos for Heroes is an organization devoted to giving veterans back the hope that so many of them may have lost by being at war and Toro is committed to helping them integrate back into society.

“People don’t understand what PTSD or TBI is, it’s hard every day waking up and functioning. These vets, they come back and they’re for years fighting in wars and one day they’re thrown back into civilization and they’re lost, they don’t know what to do and that’s when they start drinking or doing drugs. What I’m trying to do is get to them before that happens with our dogs. They take care of our heroes.”

Kathryn is a freelance writer who has spent the past two years dividing her writing time between her two great loves - pets and health and wellness. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with one very mischievous Cocker Spaniel, drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and attempting to set numerous world records for the longest ever FaceTime calls with her family back home in NZ.