On Nov. 11 the nation will observe Veterans Day, a federal holiday that honors the men and women who answered the call, donned the uniform and served our country. Veterans Day is an opportunity, as a country, to pause and thank those who put their lives on the line in defense of our freedoms and great nation.
At American Humane, we strive to serve those who served us. For more than 100 years, we have supported the U.S. military, veterans and military animals. During World War I, our animal first responders deployed to Europe at the request of the U.S. Secretary to War to rescue and care for 68,000 wounded horses each month. Today, we continue to work with the military and veterans through a variety of programs that leverage and recognize the healing power of the bond between animals and people.
Consider our Pups4PatriotsTM program, through which American Humane trains lifesaving service dogs for veterans struggling with post-traumatic stress (PTS) or traumatic brain injury (TBI).
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, up to one in five veterans who served in Iraq or Afghanistan are diagnosed with PTS. Both PTS and TBI can contribute to veteran suicide rates. These invisible wounds of war are difficult to treat, with medicine and therapy sometimes falling short.
Professionally-trained service dogs can act as a lifeline for veterans in need. A study released last year by Purdue University found that veterans with PTS performed better on numerous mental health and emotional-wellbeing metrics when paired with a service dog.
But wait lists are long and properly training a dog can cost tens of thousands of dollars. That’s why American Humane provides these lifesaving animals free of charge to veterans in need. It is through the generosity of corporate sponsors, including Zoetis and Coleman Natural Foods, along with individual donations that we are able to fund Pups4Patriots.
Watch this video with Megan Lowry, a veteran and service dog trainer for American Humane, to understand more about this magnificent program.
And on Nov. 11, remember to thank a veteran for defending your freedoms.