Comfort and healing for America’s littlest heroes
Whether it’s the empty chair at the dinner table at home or the fear of what might happen abroad, children are greatly affected when a parent is called to military duty. More than two million children in the United State have had a parent deployed to active military duty since the start of the Global War on Terrorism, many serving multiple consecutive tours – unprecedented in the U.S. military. These children and their families are struggling with the sadness, loss, and fear that military families too often face alone.
Research has shown that animal-assisted therapy is a powerful tool for bringing relief to children and families experiencing these symptoms. American Humane has been a leader in providing this innovative therapy for children with cancer, the elderly, and returning veterans coping with PTS.
Since 2011, American Humane has partnered with the National Military Family Association to provide warm, playful and loving therapy dogs (and even therapy llamas, mules, miniature horses and more) for their Operation Purple camps and family retreats. With a helping paw, a shoulder to cry on, or just a wagging tail, these animals help to provide comfort for these children in uncertain times. Our experience has shown that children open up to therapy animals in ways they cannot—or maybe will not—with humans about the fear and anxiety they’re facing.
Each visit made by our teams of animal-assisted therapy handlers creates positive lifetime memories for these children who are bravely dealing with the absence of their heroic parents. We have already helped thousands of children and families but need more funding so we can be there for all of America’s bravest families when they need us most.