Military Initiative

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American Humane Pups4Patriots™ trains dogs in search of forever homes to be lifesaving service dogs, offering them at no cost to veterans and first responders with Post-Traumatic Stress or Traumatic Brain Injury.

For many veterans and first responders, the work after the line of duty is often only the beginning of another daunting battle – but it’s a battle that doesn’t have to be waged alone.

Research shows that specially trained service dogs can reduce stress and anxiety levels, mitigate depression, ease social reintegration, provide comfort, and restore confidence in affected veterans and first responders. However, many obstacles often prevent these heroes from gaining access to service dogs. Waiting lists are long, and the process is expensive, with training costing upwards of $30,000 per service dog — this is where Pups4Patriots comes in.



All Pups4Patriots dogs are trained according to American Humane’s service dog guidelines — an approach informed by a Scientific Advisory Committee of veteran experts, mental health professionals, scientists, animal welfare specialists, veterinarians, dog trainers, and other key advocates. These guidelines help maximize the efficacy of the service dogs as a treatment method for veterans and first responders with Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

Another vital component of the Pups4Patriots selection process is the mental health assessment, which requires applicants to be engaged in mental health treatment with a licensed mental health professional. This requirement is key in assisting with the adjustment period when obtaining a service dog, which can be stressful, requiring the applicant to tap into symptom management skills acquired through therapy.

American Humane offers exceptionally trained service dogs to veterans and first responders in need, expertly matching human and canine heroes to create win-win-win solutions meant to last.



Pups4Patriots seeks to serve all veterans and first responders who meet our program’s criteria, which include actively working with a licensed mental health professional as part of a PTS or TBI treatment plan and successfully passing an assessment that gauges if a therapy dog will support a hero’s healing process.

Many brave members of our nation’s armed forces and frontline first responders face PTS and TBI, which can cause debilitating symptoms and lead to depression, social isolation, and, far too often, suicide. Each year, more than 6,000+ veterans tragically commit suicide, and thousands more are diagnosed with PTS and TBI — approximately 184 veterans receive a PTS diagnosis every day.

Unlike many service dog organizations, Pups4Patriots serves not only veterans and first responders diagnosed with PTS but also female veterans and first responders, including those diagnosed with Military Sexual Trauma (MST). Female veterans are often disproportionately affected due to fewer support resources and higher instances of MST, a form of PTS that one in three female veterans is estimated to experience.

More than 80 percent of first responders experience traumatic events on the job, leading roughly one in three first responders to develop PTS. In response to these staggering rates, Pups4Patriots expanded in April 2024 to serve those on our emergency frontlines, such as emergency and rescue personnel, police officers, and firefighters.

Learn more about MST and how Pups4Patriots service dog can help →

Apply for a Service Dog  →


American Humane is committed to harnessing the healing power of the human-animal bond to put more healing leashes into the hands of more veterans and first responders in need.

To date, American Humane Pups4Patriots has provided more than 200 lifesaving service dogs. Thanks to the generous support of donors, this program continues to serve more heroes each year.

2023 Impact Report

News & Updates

This Military Appreciation Month, American Humane and Coleman All Natural Meats Share Support for Veterans

This Military Appreciation Month, as we honor those who served, let’s not forget the hidden scars and invisible wounds some veterans carry. American Humane’s Pups4Patriots program offers a powerful form of support: pairing specially trained service dogs with veterans and first responders struggling with Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), or Military Sexual Trauma (MST). Since 2019, American Humane…
May 24, 2024

A Heartfelt Thank You to Coleman Natural Foods

American Humane, the country’s first national humane organization, is honoring those who have served in the U.S. military and encourages all Americans to give thanks for the nation’s troops on this Veterans Day. To date, American Humane Pups4PatriotsTM has provided 207 life-saving service dogs to U.S. veterans in need of support through its Pups4Patriots Program supported by Coleman Natural Foods. For…
November 7, 2023