OEF/OIF veterans with PTSD and companion pets needed for study

A study through Walden University is looking for OEF/OIF veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) who are willing to participate in a study of the human-animal bond. Pets for Patriots is honored to assist in this effort as part of our mission to foster a bond between at-risk shelter animals and United States military veterans. Our sole involvement is helping to make people aware of this study. 

Study goals

The purpose of the study is to explore the experiences of the human-animal bond in a sample of U.S. Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom military members with combat-related posttraumatic stress symptoms. The trauma experienced associated to deployment is unique for each person.  Media reports shared stories of military members gravitating to animals, both in combat and after returning home, to help ease the effects of traumatic symptoms; however, a scholarly study exploring these personal stories has not been conducted.

Interest in the study’s findings has been expressed by the Senate’s Committee of Veterans Affairs for support with looking into alternative approaches with dealing with the psychological scars of combat.

Study candidates

The study, conducted by Ph.D. candidate Melissa White, is looking for OEF/OIF service members who:

  • Have experienced posttraumatic stress symptoms resulting from OEF or OIF deployments
  • Adopted a companion animal after posttraumatic stress symptoms surfaced
  • Are not currently on an ‘in-patient’ status

Participation is completely voluntary and confidential. Interviews are conducted by telephone.  A $10 gift card or donation to animal rescue will be provided upon completion of the study.

Contact information

Interested individuals should contact Melissa White at melissa.white [at] waldenu.edu for more information and complete an informed consent form. Pets for Patriots neither endorses nor sponsors this research. 


  1. I am a veterinarian with considerable experience in canine lameness including bone surgery and as a lecturer in the field of veterinary business and delivery. I understand the healing properties of dogs. Maybe I can help.

    Dr. Richard Lanier

  2. Hi Dr. Lanier. We suggest you contact the study organizer directly; we’re just sharing this information to create awareness of this important research. Thank you!

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