WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, November 10, 2020 — American Humane, the country’s first national humane organization, is celebrating and honoring those who have served, and encouraging all Americans to give thanks for both courageous troops and their K-9 companions who have fought to keep us safe.
“At American Humane, we have been committed to working alongside and supporting the U.S. Armed Forces for over a century,” said American Humane president and CEO Dr. Robin R. Ganzert. “Now more than ever, America’s veterans need support as they heal from the invisible wounds of war during the time of the novel coronavirus.”
American Humane’s Pups4PatriotsTM program pairs specially trained service dogs to veterans diagnosed with either posttraumatic stress or traumatic brain injury. The novel coronavirus has affected the entire world and can be a trigger for veterans struggling with their mental health. Within the first month of COVID-19, digital mental health consultations and check-ins nearly quadrupled, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. A doctor with the Veterans Affairs Boston Health Care System reported that one patient likened the uncertainty of the novel coronavirus to his time in Vietnam.
Even before the pandemic, veterans faced unique mental health obstacles compared to the general populace. Up to one in five veterans who served in either Iraq or Afghanistan are diagnosed with PTS at any given time, and up to 30 percent of Vietnam veterans have struggled with the diagnosis. American Humane has continued safely training and pairing service dogs with veterans at no charge to them.
Many veterans served alongside military working dogs, who work to keep our men and women safe from IEDs and other threats. American Humane worked to change the law in 2016 so that our heroic MWDs be returned to U.S. soil upon retirement and that their human handlers and their families be given first right of adoption. To follow through on that commitment, American Humane regularly helps reunited veterans, active duty service members and retired MWDs.
Tomorrow, American Humane is co-hosting a special event with the USS Constitution Museum on the past, present and future of Military Working Dogs at 4:00 p.m. ET. It is free to the public and suitable for all ages. Interested individuals can register today.
“American Humane is honored to stand by the brave men and women of our Armed Forces both during their service and when they return home,” said Dr. Ganzert. “We will continue supporting our nation’s veterans in every possible capacity as our country weathers unprecedented hurdles.”
About American Humane
American Humane is the country’s first national humane organization, founded in 1877. For more information, please visit www.AmericanHumane.org.