National Pets for Veterans Day on October 21st is a special day to honor our brave men and women who have served our country. The event was founded by Clarissa Black in 2009, who also founded the Pets for Vets foundation. Black observed the positive impact of animal-assisted therapy on veterans recovering from their time in service with her therapy dog, Bear.
According to research, up to 51% of individuals who have experienced a traumatic event when physically injured suffer from PTSD. Many veterans report a reduced quality of life due to flashbacks, insomnia, and other mental issues. In addition, veterans endure hiring discrimination when employers assume that any member of the military has PTSD that could affect their job performance. National Pets for Veterans Day aims to raise awareness of these challenges and offer veterans a gift of unconditional love and support that they experienced while serving with an animal companion.
There are many ways to support the Pets for Vets organization and its noble mission. Volunteering at an animal shelter is an excellent way to bolster the Pets for Vets cause while helping animals in need of human kindness. You can also offer to pick up the adoption cost for a veteran’s pet. Many of these organizations depend upon the generosity of donors to keep the doors open to fulfill their mission. You can even donate a care package of toys, training treats, and other pet supplies to a new dog owner. No amount is too small. It is also suggested that people thank a veteran for their service if they see them at the store or at work.
Animal-assisted therapy is not new. Evidence suggests that it was a part of Greek and Roman cultures. Its use came to the forefront in 18th-century York, England. English philanthropist William Tuke reformed mental health practices with the York Retreat in 1796, and animal-assisted therapy was a part of the improved treatment and care methods at the facility. Current research supports the therapeutic use of animals and the mission of Pets for Vets. Studies show that it can reduce pain, improve social behavior, and lower stress. Even veterans who have not suffered an injury can benefit from the unconditional love a canine companion can provide. One study found that having a dog could help lessen the chances of developing cardiovascular disease. When Pets for Vets matches an individual with a pet, they are literally giving that person the gift of life.
The goal of Pets for Vets is to connect individuals with the right pet for them using their Super Bond practice. The organization goes the extra mile to ensure the fit between the veteran and the dog. They spend time evaluating the compatibility of the people and the animals to make the best match for both. Both the veteran and the dog receive training to nurture the human-dog bond. The organization has over 650 success stories, and many more people and pets are currently benefiting from the Pets for Vets program.
National Pets for Veterans Day is an excellent way to honor our military personnel with a gift that can help anyone struggling to return to civilian life. It is the least we can do to thank those who have put so much on the line to keep our country free and safe. Every day should be Veterans Day to recognize someone’s service to the nation.