IST In the News

May 2024Sonya Ward was nominated and honored for her work with Veterans and First Responders

as one of nine amazing women in the NY’s 110th District at the second Assemblymember Phil Steck’s Women of Distinction Awards ceremony. This annual event honors women whose work makes the community a better place to live in. (read more)

August 2021 - That Sounds Terrific & That Sounds Terrifying
Episode 37: Service Dog Training for Heroes with Sonya Ward

Join us for a very special episode of That Sounds Terrific, a joint in-person recorded podcast with Chris Jones of the Bow Knows VO.

September 2023 - Hudson Valley Veterans Resource and Outreach Center

Thank you! Much appreciation to the Hudson Valley Veterans Resource and Outreach Center for recognizing me at a recent football game and presenting me with this wonderful Military Appreciation Award! I’m humbled and honored! Thank you 🙏

February 2023Memorial Service Honors the Memory of Sgt. Elijah P. Willette

Local veteran and hero was honored with a memorial service held at the Mechanicville Stillwater Elks.

August 2022Annual ride benefits PTSD and service dog awareness

The second annual PTSD & Service Dog Awareness motorcycle ride took place in Troy Saturday morning!

August 2022PTSD and service dog awareness ride held in Troy

Ibi Semper Training, Inc. held their second-annual PTSD and awareness ride at the Brunswick Harley Davidson in Troy.

March 2022March 2022 edition of Niskayuna News

IST Founder Sonya Ward was featured in the March edition of Niskayuna Neighbors, a local magazine for Niskayuna residents

September 2021 - WYNT Channel 13 News Interviews IST Service Dog Teams

Ibi Semper Training Service Dog teams met in Niskayuna with Channel 13 WNYT’s Sam Hesler to discuss the training program and how their PTSD Service Dogs benefit them.

August 2021 - IST PTSD Service Dog Ride - Spectrum Interview

Spectrum News Tamani Wooley, an Emmy-nominated television anchor, host, reporter, and producer interviews Sonya Ward with Ibi Semper Training and Stuart Ginsburg at the Brunswick Harley Davidson dealership and Gary Gosselin at the Brunswick BBQ & Brew, the two local businesses hosting the fundraiser event on August 28th, 2021 supporting our local Veterans & First Responders with PTSD and the adoption of rescue dogs.

August 4, 2021Ibi Semper Training on Capital Region Today

Interview with Ann Parillo about Ibi and PTSD Service Dog training

August 2, 2021Ibi Semper Training on Spectrum News 1!

Highlighting the importance of service dogs.

July 27, 2021Your Best Shot: Service Dogs

Ibi Semper Training (IST), Latin for “Always There,” is helping veterans and first responders while rescuing dogs, and pairing them together to train them to become Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Service Dog teams. (read more)

April 7, 2021Ibi Semper Training IN THE NEWS

Arts4Vets is such a wonderful program and we thank them and the American Legion Post 1520 for their support for and partnering with Ibi Semper Training, Inc! Please read and reach out, it can only benefit you. (read more)

Media News

May 2020 - ZOOM meeting topic: PTSD Service Dog Training Applications

Niskayuna Rotary’s featured guest speaker on Tuesday May 26 at 2 PM is from Ibi Semper Training, Inc. Ibi Semper Training is a non-profit that trains Veterans, 1st Responders and Correctional Officers with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. They in turn learn to train their temperament-tested dogs in a guided small-group-setting to become PTSD Service Dog teams. Temperament-tested shelter or rescue dogs are paired with applicants for the 8-months program; we also accept family dogs if they pass the temperament test. The program includes 3-tests and 4-certificates of completion. Ibi Semper Training is completely funded from donations and fundraisers so that the dogs and training can be provided free of charge. To attend the ZOOM presentation, contact Lon Penna at 518-312-6588 or for login information. For more information visit the Ibi Semper Training Facebook page at @ibisempertraining1, or contact Sonya Ward at or 518-605-3976.

PTS & Service Dog Related Articles

June 2024Service dogs helped ease PTSD symptoms in US military veterans, researchers say

Specially trained service dogs helped ease PTSD symptoms in U.S. military veterans in a small study that the researchers hope will help expand options for service members... (read more)

January 2024The cortisol awakening response in a 3 month clinical trial of service dogs for veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder

Scientific Reports is an open access journal publishing original research from across all areas of the natural sciences, psychology, medicine and engineering... (read more)

March 28, 2024Assistance dogs may detect PTSD flashbacks via breath

Dogs' sensitive noses can detect the early warning signs. Now, scientists have found evidence that assistance dogs might even be able to sniff out an oncoming PTSD flashback, by teaching two dogs to alert to the breath of people who have been reminded of traumas... (read more)

January 9, 2024Get your dog out of here! Where can service dogs go?

There’s confusion about the rules when it comes to service animals. Here’s what the law says and why... (read more)

February 16, 2023Kaya the Service Dog Is Honored on Her Last Plane Ride Ever After Being on 250+ Flights

Many people wish their dogs could live forever; but, since this is an impossible dream, it makes it all the more important to honor the trusty canines in our lives. This is exactly what Marine Corps veteran Cole Lyle has done... (read more)

December 7, 2022Researchers reveal how trauma changes the brain

Researchers are learning more about how traumatic events may physically change our brains. Neurologists have revealed changes to a brain mechanism used for learning and survival may play a role.... (read more)

September 30, 2022Study Finds That Dogs Can Detect When We’re Stressed Out

Humans and dogs can form incredible bonds. Some people even believe that their canine companions can understand their emotions. Well, a new study suggests that this could be true... (read more)

September 17, 2022Veterans suicide rate may be double federal estimates, study suggests

The rate of suicide among veterans may be more than double what federal officials report annually because of undercounting related to drug overdose deaths and service record errors, according to an analysis released September 2022... (read more)

August 25, 2021Biden signs U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin's PAWS for Veterans Therapy Act into law

Veterans could have greater access to therapy dogs and service dogs now, thanks to the passage of U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin's PAWS for Veterans Therapy Act.... (read more)

August 6, 2021Tillis, Sinema, Cramer, and Feinstein’s Bipartisan PAWS for Veterans Therapy Act To Be Signed Into Law

Today, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed the Puppies Assisting Wounded Servicemembers (PAWS) for Veterans Therapy Act, bipartisan legislation introduced by U.S. Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)... (read more)

February 3, 2021Emotional Support Dog, Therapy Dog, Facility Dog, or Psychiatric Service Dog. What’s the difference?

It’s almost impossible to find any other creature as loving and comforting as a dog. Their ability to empathize and their natural desire to be close to us makes them remarkably predisposed to helping get through emotional... (read more)

February 2021Emotional-Support Animals Are Banned on Airplanes, But Service Dogs Can Still Fly Free

Given a green light from the Transportation Department, airlines have banned so-called emotional-support animals from cabins, making it more complicated—and more expensive—for pets to fly with their owners... (read more)

August 2020Disrupting Anxiety: The Most Vital Task For PTSD Service Dogs

It’s been found that disrupting episodes of anxiety ranks among the most important tasks a service dog can provide to veterans with PTSD... (read more)

August 2020This Veteran's German Shepherd Is the First-Ever Service Dog at Machu Picchu

For veterans traveling abroad, the use of service animals can be difficult. Where there’s a will, there are at least possibilities, as Air Force veteran Melanie Boling showed on a recent trip to Peru. Regulations for visiting Machu Picchu prohibited dogs, but Peruvian law allowed it... (read more)

July 21, 2020Wearing A Service Dog Vest Isn't An All-Access Pass

When you think of a service dog, you might imagine a fluffy golden retriever, a sleek black lab, or perhaps a strong shepherd — but no matter what breed comes to mind, you probably picture them wearing a brightly colored vest... (read more)

March 26, 2020A service dog in training brings comfort to ER doctors on the frontlines

Heroes come in all shapes and sizes -- this one just happens to have four legs and a furry coat... (read more)

February 7, 2020Bill to Provide Service Dogs for Veterans with PTSD Passes House Unanimously

A decade-long effort to have the Department of Veterans Affairs provide service dogs to veterans with mental health issues passed a major hurdle with House passage Wednesday... (read more)

January 31, 2020Daphne Bramham: Before planes become Noah's ark, some regulation is needed

Images of a “comfort turkey,” a duck with shoes and a kangaroo on airline flights have all gone viral on the internet. So, too, did the photo of a pheasant at Newark airport and a story about Wally, an emotional support alligator... (read more)

January 30, 2020Therapy dogs visit Syosset’s Harvest House

On the brisk winter afternoon of January 22 in Syosset, over two dozen local residents greeted two spirited therapy dogs, golden retrievers Bella and Riley, at the nonprofit... (read more)

January 28, 2020Cerabino: Doggone it, feds looking to ground “emotional support” pets

There are too many of them to consider. There were more than 10,000 when I started reading, and it just kept growing. People from all over the country with lots of strong opinions... (read more)

January 23, 2020Federal Government May Tighten Restrictions On Service Animals On Planes

The U.S. Department of Transportation is considering tightening the rules for taking service animals on planes after increased customer complaints and lobbying from the airlines who think current regulations are too lenient... (read more)

January 23, 2020Respect the Vest: Working Canines and What They Do

Kaitlin’s life was saved by her service dog, Chester, Flaherty said about the recent incident, and the dog has changed the lives of the entire family in many other ways... (read more)

January 22, 2020Only service dogs allowed on flights in new DOT rules

The days of passengers bringing rabbits, turtles and birds on planes as emotional-support animals could be ending... (read more)

January 21, 2020Uber Driver Refuses Rider with Service Animal - for the fourth time in one week

Ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft have made the world much more accessible for many people who can't drive or don't own cars. However, despite federal and state laws demanding these services provide equal access for passengers with disabilities, many customers with service animals experience frequent denial of service once driver-partners see they are accompanied by a worker-companion animal... (read more)

January 23, 2020Why are pets everywhere? Businesses, airlines cracking down on service animal rules

No doubt you've noticed, pet lovers seem to be taking their animals everywhere these days. Some are performing a true service for their owners, but many are not. Now, several states, airlines and businesses are being forced to crack down on the abuse... (read more)

January 14, 2020Lowcountry veteran says he and his service dog are being harassed because of leash laws

A Lowcountry veteran says he and his service dog are being harassed because he doesn't walk her on a leash... (read more)

January 12, 2020Princeton’s NEADS supporting Ferguson’s efforts to fight service dog fraud

The service dog organization NEADS Inc., formerly from West Boylston, is working with state Rep. Kimberly Ferguson (R-Holden) to pass a bill that would make misrepresenting a service animal illegal... (read more)

January 9, 2020Snowmass Village HOA illegally banned a resident’s service dog, is ordered to pay victim $50,000

A condominium association in Snowmass Village violated federal law — the Fair Housing Act — when it banned the service dog of a resident with disabilities from her home... (read more)