Artique to raise awareness of local artists skills, PTSD in veterans |

Artique to raise awareness of local artists skills, PTSD in veterans

Artique will 
celebrate veterans

Artique in Kamas has raised awareness of local artists' skills.

The boutique, located at 283 N. Main, has spotlighted photographers, painters, fiber artists and ceramicists during its monthly First Friday Artist Opening.

This week, Artique will raise awareness for a different kind of skill: using dogs to help veterans deal with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates anywhere from 10 to 18 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans return home with PTSD.

From 6-9 p.m. on Nov. 3, Artique will showcase Canines with a Cause, a nonprofit established in 2010 that says its mission is "to harness the untapped potential of shelter dogs to heal emotional, psychological wounds, provide unconditional love, support and companionship, and give a new leash on life to those in need through assistance, therapy or service dog work."

We have rescued more than 250 dogs this year, and we have more than 80 veterans in the program...Cathy KingCanines with a Cause executive director

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The focus for the event is veterans, said Cathy King, executive director of Canines with a Cause.

"Veterans Day, which is actually a week after the celebration, is a big deal," King told The Park Record. "So we are pretty excited that this worked out with Artique."

King and Artique owner Katie Stellpflug are inviting local veterans as well as the publicto attend the party.

"We will also feature some of the veterans and dogs who are in our program," King said. "We hope to hear their stories."

Whether or not the veterans choose to share their stories, Artique patrons will still get a chance to learn about the program.

"We'll have framed photographs and stories of people who have been involved in our program set up throughout the store," she said. "So when people browse the art, they can see these photos and read the stories. So hopefully people will learn a little more about us."

Portions of the proceeds from art sales will benefit Canines with a Cause

"When we started, the idea was to train dogs before we placed them with veterans," King said. "We learned pretty quickly that the veterans benefited from participating in the training classes. The veterans are able to get out of their homes and bond with other veterans and the dogs."

The program includes as many generations of veterans as it can.

"We have Vietnam vets, both men and women," King said. "We have those who served in Desert Storm and we have vets who have served post-9/11."

The dogs the veterans train are rescued from shelters. According to Canines with a Cause, more than 3 million companion animals die in shelters every year.

"We have rescued more than 250 dogs this year, and we have more than 80 veterans in the program," King said. "They are training their dogs to service-dog status, which is a time-consuming process."

Three dogs this year have reached service-dog status, but, King said, there are a lot of dogs that don't make it.

"Some dogs don't make the program for one reason or another, but they go into our 'penitentiary pups' (program) where they can be adopted," she said.

In this program, which began four years ago, Canines with a Cause partners with the Utah State Prison Women's Correctional Facility.

After the inmates go through training with Canines with a Cause staff, the dogs move into the prison and are trained in basic obedience tasks by the inmates. Once the dogs have completed their training, they are placed with a veteran or adopted by families.

"So the people who adopt these dogs are getting dogs that have been assessed and have had some types of training," King said. "So we are helping dogs become a little more adoptable."

Canines with a Cause's staff has grown five-fold since its founding.

"When we started the full-time staff was just myself and a trainer," King said. "Now we have a staff of 10, which is pretty exciting."

Friday's celebration isn't the first time Canines with a Cause has partnered with Artique for an event.

"We did a fundraiser with them a few years ago during the summer, so we were really excited that they invited us to do something with them to celebrate Veterans Day," King said.

Stellpflug shared King's excitement.

"There is more awareness of PTSD today and it's important to keep the awareness going in a small community like ours," Stellpflug said. "I think a lot to us want to get involved in causes like this."

Stellpflug said the event touches her on a personal level.

"My dad was in Vietnam," she said. "My cousin was in Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan, and I currently have a sister-in-law who has been deployed in the Navy."

The Artique owner also has a friend, David Alpers, whom she met a couple of years ago, who is a PTSD advocate.

"He has done some talks and presentations about his PTSD to raise awareness in the community," she said. "He has also done some motivational speaking as well."

Stellpflug said this month's First Friday opening is a way to raise awareness and say thanks to veterans.

"I think many of us have some connection with someone — a family member, a friend — who are serving or have served," Stellpflug said. "So this is a way for us to appreciate what they've done for us."

Canines with a Cause will be the focus from 6-9 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 3, at Artique, 283 N. Main St. in Kamas. The event is free and open to the public. For information, visit For information about Canines with a Cause, visit