Click To Help A Vet Get A Service K9

By | Posted:May 29, 2011 2:30 p.m.

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Back in March I had a chance to meet a military veteran and his service dog. While we were chatting he and his dog played an intense game of fetch with a ball, and it simply didn't matter that the vet had a prosthetic arm and leg. He would fling that ball as hard or high as anyone might, and the dog was all over it, romping back with a ball and a smile. Yes, dogs do smile. It was just a game, but you could feel the devotion and bond between them.

This dog meant so much to him, and anyone could see that providing service dogs to vets with physical or mental needs is a wonderful cause.

Wouldn't you like to help make that happen? You can.

Click To Help A Vet Get A Service K9Starting Memorial Day, May 30, through Independence Day, July 4, you have an opportunity to help provide a service dog to an American veteran suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.

Organizers of this unusual challenge grant aren’t asking for donations, but rather to show support by “liking” the Dog Bless You page on Facebook. For every 5,000 “likes” the Dog Bless You Facebook community page receives, its parent organization, Explore.org, will donate a service dog to a recent war veteran, up to 100 dogs or $500,000.

The Dog Bless You community and this unique initiative is the brainchild of filmmaker Charles Annenberg Weingarten, trustee of The Annenberg Foundation and founder of explore.org. The program is a partnership with IAVA (Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America), along with a variety of veteran and service dog organizations. The project aims to spread awareness about the healing role dogs can play in the lives of those suffering from PTSD.

“Doctors, psychologists, and certainly veterans will all attest to the incredible benefits dogs bring to those suffering from the impact of war,” said Paul Rieckhoff, executive director and founder of IAVA. “And I’m sure during the course of this campaign, we’ll see and hear some amazing stories from our brave service people whose dogs have been a prime source of salvation.”

Those who like the Facebook site are urged to upload videos and photos with patriotic stories and themes, to show support for the troops and to showcase everything from personal stories gathered from soldiers to video footage of dogs around the country.

“Dogs are serving this country unlike any other animal -- from the battlefields of war, to the front lines of search and rescue to the ranks of police and fire forces across this country to the everyday person in need of a companion,” says Weingarten. “This campaign is to channel the energy of the dog community into the gift of unconditional love and healing that only a canine can provide.''

Why a "Like'' button campaign?

“The ‘like’ button is akin to putting your name on a card to those soldiers,” says Weingarten. “We’re excited to foster a discussion among vets and dog lovers during the campaign."

Our veterans have given so much for us. Please take a moment right now to go to Facebook.com/exploredogs and help give something back.

- Read more of Editor Off Leash -

 

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Laurene   Battle Creek, MI

12/15/2011 1:54:09 PM

I would like more informaiton on referring veterans for service dogs. I am a cse manager for OEF/OIF veterans. I am constantly asked about who to contact about PTSD service dogs. PLease send me all information you have and any contact informaton available.

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Silvia   Atwater, CA

5/31/2011 5:56:01 PM

What a wonderful idea. Our 1st Shih Tzu helped my Husband with his stress syndrom from Viet Nam. Big dogs are a good idea but someone should look into small ones also. There are so many in shelters they can help each other. gtoid bless U all for doing this.

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Galadriel   Lothlorien, ME

5/30/2011 11:56:52 PM

Wonderful!

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Judy   Oak Lawn, IL

5/30/2011 7:11:44 PM

In a recent trip to my local VA hospital, I met one of these dogs in the PX. His vet was so happy with his dog. I think it's a wonderful thing

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