Learn More About National Pets for Veterans Day

Learn More About National Pets for Veterans Day

October 21st is observed as National Pets for Veterans Day thanks to a therapy dog named Bear.

The loving dog knew just how to respond to Veterans and would either rest quietly next to them or engage with them to lift their spirits. His therapy sessions at a VA facility were so successful that many Veterans asked to take Bear home.

That is when his mom, Clarissa Black, realized how she could help the heroes and shelter pets.

She founded Pets for Vets in 2009 and used her background in animal training to help match Veterans with the perfect pet to give them both the second chance they deserve.

Pets are proven stress relievers, mood boosters, and encourage people to get outdoors. They love unconditionally and are always there when you need someone to talk to or cuddle with.

National Pets for Veterans Day is about honoring Veterans and service dogs while also raising awareness to how much animals can help our heroes transition back to civilian life.

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The organization has made over 600 successful matches, but their work is far from over.

Shelters across the country are full of loving pets waiting to find their special someone and according to USA Today, as many as 20% of returning Veterans suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Adam is one of the Veterans who found his best friend thanks to Pets for Vets and shares, "He’s more than just a friend. He’s my battle buddy. He’s my left hand. We’re connected by a leash, but it’s really our umbilical cord. He’s sometimes more tuned into me than I’m tuned into me. He knows more about me than I do sometimes. He lets me know what’s going on."

Unbreakable bonds are formed thanks to Black's process called "The Super Bond" and positive reinforcement training. "Instead of choosing the first dog we see in the shelter, we work to match the right person to the right pet. We take the time to get to know the Veteran; then we do the same with the animal. This thoughtful, deliberate approach is what creates the Super Bond® – that intense, immediate connection so important to a successful, lasting relationship between the Veteran and his/her A.C.E trained animal," explains Black.

While most of the animal companions tend to be dogs, the organization said they have paired cats and even rabbits with Veterans. Check out more of the happy matches here.

Learn more by visiting their website and see how Pets for Vets is helping Veterans "one lick at a time".

You can celebrate by doing one or all of the suggested activities.

Visit a Shelter

Visit a shelter and offer to pay the adoption fee for a Veteran.

Toy Collection

Collect dog/cat toys and donate them to a local shelter.

Say Thank You

Visit a VA facility and thank the Veterans.

Andrea Powell

Andrea Powell is an animal enthusiast who resides in West Michigan. When not writing, she is exploring the great outdoors with her dogs and horses.

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