Military suicide: one death is too many

Depressed soldier

The U.S. military recognizes September as Suicide Prevention Month to boost awareness of warning signs and knowledge of how to help those in crisis. One service member commits suicide every two days and one attempts suicide every two hours. On average, 18 veterans per day take their own lives. Nearly one thousand former soldiers receiving care from the Department of Veterans Affairs attempt suicide every month. 2 Suicide is the 11th leading cause of death among Americans and the second leading cause of death in the military.  The statistics are shocking, but research shows that public … [Read more...]

From 9/11 to charity for our heroes

9/11 pin

Ten years ago I didn't know that I would ultimately launch and manage a charity to honor our nation's heroes: our veterans and service members. Like tens of thousands of New Yorkers on September 11, 2001, I was on my way to work on a spectacularly beautiful early fall day. At the time I was a senior strategist for an international brand and marketing consulting firm. I took my usual 6:43am train into the city and emerged from the subway struck by the incredible majesty of the day. The Crayola blue sky, the occasional white puffy cloud and the crisp air of an early autumn morning. One of those … [Read more...]

How pets improve your health

Woman and dog

Companion pets do more than make us smile; they're actually good for our health. From reduced incidence of depression, lower blood pressure and overall stress reduction, a four-legged friend might be the best health plan money can’t buy. At Pets for Patriots, we advocate for the adoption of "last-chance" pets that face near-certain death if not adopted: dogs and cats two years or older, dogs 40+ pounds regardless of age, and special needs pets. Collectively, these are animals that are most often overlooked in shelters, but that have many years of love and life to give. And because most are … [Read more...]

Dogs help spouse survive military life

Buddy

This is written by Kristen Lee Qunell, proud military spouse and Pets for Patriots volunteer. Recipe for a military spouse: 1 1/2 cups patience 1 lb. adaptability 3/4 cup tolerance 1 tsp. courage Dash of adventure Combine the above ingredients. Add 2 tablespoons of elbow grease. Marinate frequently with salty tears. Pour off excess fat. Sprinkle lightly with money. Season the mixture with international spices. "Knead" the dough until payday. Bake 20 years, or until done. ***** I came across this recipe recently while browsing around online and found it quite clever. After I thought … [Read more...]

Almost homeless WWII veteran needs help

Harold Utsler

Harold Utsler is a WWII veteran on the verge of being homeless after being stranded by his family at a Texas airport. A deservedly proud man, at 90 years old Harold is asking for help. When Pets for Patriots first posted news of Harold's predicament in early August, many people expressed astonishment that an elderly veteran would be facing homelessness. The Veterans' Administration estimates that on any given night, 107,000 veterans are homeless and another 1.5 million are at risk due to a variety of factors, such as lack of support networks, poverty or poor living conditions. Inevitably, … [Read more...]

About military working dog adoptions

MWD in Iraq

Our recent post about Rocky, a retired, disabled military working dog who was saved by our appeal, exposed a lot of misconceptions about the fate of military working dogs once they're retired from service. Most of these animals are eligible for adoption and are placed into appropriate and loving homes. Until recently, it was legal and common practice to abandon or put down military working dogs, known as MWDs, at the end of their useful service. Historically viewed as "surplus equipment," they weren't seen as having value beyond the military purpose for which they were trained. That mindset … [Read more...]

Retired disabled military dog Rocky dies if not adopted; UPDATE: Rocky is saved!

Give now to help others last chance pets like Rocky

                    Pets for Patriots is a small charity, but we were able to mobilize 42,393 people* to save Rocky, a three-tour Iraq war canine veteran (*as of 8:15pm ET 8/18/11). Your donations are needed to save more pets like Rocky: dogs and cats who will never become an overnight internet sensation or have major news media vying to tell their tale. These "last chance" pets - adult and other at-risk shelter dogs and cats - face near-certain death if not adopted. We connect them to veterans and service members who need a new pet … [Read more...]

How to adopt a shelter pet

How to adopt a shelter cat

Adopting a pet is a serious decision, especially for military families whose own lives are often in a state of constant change. It's a commitment, and bringing a four-legged family member into your household shouldn't be an impulse decision. Whether you're active duty, recently separated from the military, a retiree or veteran, at Pets for Patriots we encourage you to consider some important pet adoption issues before you ask, "how much is that doggie (or kittie) in the shelter?"  A FOREVER HOME First and foremost, don't adopt if you aren't prepared to provide a loving home to a pet for the … [Read more...]

Dogs deliver therapy to PTSD/TBI veteran

My pit bull puppies

A disabled Army veteran coping with PTSD and TBI shares her story about how dogs have changed his life. He would like to see the Veterans Administration provide benefits to support pets adopted by veterans for their own self therapy. His story speaks to the heart of what we do at Pets for Patriots in connecting last-chance pets with veterans. Many of our adopters talk about being imperfect or misunderstood, and feel a kinship with unwanted animals that are often described in similar terms. We believe this strong identification with the predicament of an "unwanted" animal is what accounts for … [Read more...]

Shelter dog meets Hall of Fame rocker

Picture of Dennis Dunaway and Barley

This is the unlikely tale of a legendary Hall of Fame rocker and a decidedly less famous, but equally disarming, shelter dog named Barley. Cindy and Dennis Dunaway are best known for their work with the original Alice Cooper Band. Cindy created their costumes, which trail-blazed the glam rock style, while Dennis played bass and helped pen some of rock’s biggest hits, such as “School’s Out.” Dennis, along with the other members of the original Alice Cooper group, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March. But we’re not here to discuss glitter and gold records. We’re here to … [Read more...]

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