Pets for Vets is a 501(c)3 charitable organization that believes we owe our military veterans a debt of gratitude. Many of our soldiers have returned with physical and emotional injuries that make it difficult to transition back to civilian life. Some estimates are that as many as 20% of returning military veterans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The goal of Pets for Vets is to help heal the emotional wounds of military veterans by pairing them with a shelter dog that is specially selected to match his or her personality. Professional dog trainers and dedicated foster care providers rehabilitate the dogs and teach them good manners to fit into the veteran’s lifestyle. Training can also include desensitization to wheelchairs or crutches as well as recognizing panic or anxiety disorder behaviors.
It’s a win-win.
Needy shelter dogs receive a second chance at life while giving our returning solders a second chance at health and happiness. The bonds of friendship formed between man and animal have the power to ease the suffering of our troops when they return from overseas.
The Pets for Vets program is dedicated to supporting veterans and providing a second chance for shelter pets by rescuing, training and pairing them with America’s veterans who could benefit from having a companion animal.
The Pets…3 to 4 million dogs and cats are euthanized each year. These dogs can make excellent companion animals but never have that chance. The dedicated Pets for Vets animal trainers evaluate and rescue the shelter animals and provide additional training to ensure that they are able to assimilate into a home, which is quite different from a shelter environment.
The Vets…Sadly, there are alarming statistics of suicide, family abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) facing veterans returning to civilian life after military duty. This can cause a downward spiral of apathy, unemployment, broken relationships, addiction and depression. Pets for Vets believes that companion animals can be the life-saving therapy or friend that many returning service men and women need.
Medical studies have shown that companion animals significantly improve mental and physical health, including reducing stress, depression and anxiety, symptoms experienced by many serving in the military.
How Does It Work?
The Pets for Vets team interviews each veteran to ascertain what he or she is looking for in a companion animal; they pair this with his or her personality and lifestyle to make the perfect veteran-pet match. Once the perfect pet is selected for the veteran, the pet spends time in the home of one of our trainers who teaches the pet basic obedience and other valuable behaviors needed to live with his/her new owner. This can include becoming comfortable with wheelchairs or behaviors needed to help with PTSD or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).
Who is eligible?
Veterans who have a condition that could benefit from a trained companion animal and who are able to care for a pet are eligible to receive a Pets for Vets companion animal.
BADDogsInc Family Dog Training & Behavior is pleased to partner with Pets for Vets to bring this important program to our community. Our trainers and foster homes are dedicated to the task of rescuing and rehabilitating shelter dogs so they can live full and happy lives enriching the lives of their human companions.
If you’re a returned veteran whose life would be enhanced by the presence of a Pets for Vets canine companion, please go here to visit their site and complete their online application.