Rescued dog helps veteran find joy in life

Red close up

Red is a rescued dog who honorably adopted a disabled Vietnam-era veteran named Bobby, bringing many smiles and much joy back into her life. Together they share their journey with Pets for Patriots and the veterans we serve every day. Well it's been a while, but Pets for Patriots is anything but forgotten. Congrats on the two year mark! As you can see Red is doing great, just bigger then he was. He has more then taken over the house, and I would never have it any other way. That, and he makes a great back warmer on cool evenings. As you can see Red has even taken over my bed. He and I have … [Read more...]

PTSD symptoms in veterans relieved with meditation

Army yoga

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is a chronic anxiety disorder that can develop after a person is involved in a traumatic event, such as a sexual or physical assault, a natural disaster, a car accident or combat, and is increasingly common in veterans. Reliving painful events is a common symptom of PTSD and can prove debilitating to those who suffer from it. Flashbacks, a common symptom, transport sufferers back to the moment of the original trauma and bring recurring actions and feelings of the traumatic event. Operation Warrior Wellness is one of the many organizations using … [Read more...]

National Adopt a Senior Pet month helps older pets find new homes

Woman and old dog

November is National Adopt a Senior Pet month, during which time the benefits of senior pet adoption are promoted by shelters, rescues and humane societies around the country. At Pets for Patriots, we focus on adult and other “at risk” shelter pets year-round because we know that while many people think they’re less adoptable, they often make the best companions. So what makes a pet a senior? While there’s no absolute standard, many animal welfare organizations and veterinary specialists consider a dog or cat to be a senior citizen after five years of age; for others it’s seven and older. … [Read more...]

WWII veteran Charles uplifted by card campaign

Charles

Charles is a WWII veteran recently hospitalized with a minor stroke; he's also a member of our family and a Pets for Patriots volunteer. He's recovering in large part due to the outpouring of love and prayers he's received from wonderful people all over the country who have been sending him cards and letters. The first cards started to roll in after we made appeals on our Facebook and Twitter pages. Charles was just home from the hospital and the cards provided a welcome respite from the hard work of recovery. As he got stronger and his spirits brightened, so too did his reaction to each new … [Read more...]

A veteran, a dog and one amazing tale

Gizmo and his new family

If you spend much time with a war veteran discussing his experience, he will invariably mention how the worst part of it was losing so many of his best friends. And, if you listen to a pet owner discuss losing a pet, you will hear a similar refrain: “I feel like I’ve lost my best friend.” It’s a sentiment tinged with sadness and loneliness – a sense of loss and being lost. Tim Peterman knows both all too well. As a veteran of WWII who recently lost his beloved Shih-Tzu, Gizmo, he didn’t know what to do with himself without his buddy. He lost his bearings. His daughter, Sandra, saw the pain. … [Read more...]

Marine veteran saves four-legged life at home

Fernando and Ellie

 After three tours of duty, a Marine Corps veteran saves a four-legged life when he adds a last-chance dog to his military family. Our thanks to Fernando for sharing their story with us. My name is Fernando and my family and I live in Southern California on Camp Pendleton. I am active duty in the Marine Corps. My wife and I have two little girls ages two and four who love animals. I figured it was the perfect time to add a member to our family since I am not deploying and will be home for the next two to three years. So what a better time then now. I joined the Marine Corps in 2006 and have … [Read more...]

What is a service animal?

Service dog

At Pets for Patriots, we get calls from service members, veterans and their caregivers requesting our help to secure service dogs, usually for PTSD. But when we ask if the individual would be better served by a well-mannered companion dog or cat, we're always asked, "What's the difference?" We're so glad you asked. First, a little context. According to the Defense Department, more than 46,000 U.S. military personnel have been wounded in action in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars since March, 2003. The incidence of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), depression … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]

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