Pets for Vets

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Pets for Vets
Pets for Vets (logo).jpg
Founded 2009
Founder Clarissa Black
501(c)(3)
Mission "The Pets for Vets program is dedicated to providing a second chance for shelter pets by rescuing, training and pairing them with America’s veterans who could benefit from a companion animal."[1]
Website http://www.pets-for-vets.com/

Pets for Vets is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in the United States dedicated to providing a second chance to shelter dogs by rescuing, training and matching them with American veterans who need a companion pet.[2]

History[edit]

Pets for Vets was founded on 10/21/2009 by animal behaviorist and trainer, Clarissa Black, who was looking for a way to help American veterans who were suffering from combat stress and other emotional issues related to their service.[3] Many Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom veterans suffer physical and emotional injuries making it difficult to transition back to civilian life.[4][5][6][7] Pets for Vets helps military veterans reclaim normalcy in their lives through companion dogs.

Each companion dog is rescued in connection with local animal rescue groups. They are then given basic obedience training and any additional training that will help them assimilate into their new lives and then finally placed in their "forever" home.

Issues addressed[edit]

Estimates that anywhere from one in eight[8] to one in five of all Iraq war veterans have some degree of PTSD and two thirds of those who screened positive for PTSD are not receiving treatment.[9] People who suffer from PTSD experience anxiety, depression, sleeplessness, flashbacks, and extreme wariness. It may manifest right away or show up months or even years later. Some of those who suffer from PTSD commit suicide.[10][11][12]

According to the ASPCA, every year between 6 and 8 million dogs and cats are abandoned at shelters in the United States. Nationally five out of ten shelter dogs and seven out of ten shelter cats are euthanized because there is no one to adopt them from the shelter[13] These dogs and cats can make excellent companion animals but never have that chance.

Companion animals as therapy[edit]

Animal-assisted therapy has typically been used to treat physical disabilities; it is becoming increasingly useful in treating patients with psychological complications including PTSD and combat stress and even reducing symptoms of PTSD in as many as 82% of patients studied.[14]

More and more veterans are being written prescriptions for companion animals to help combat PTSD. Pets can help alleviate stress, loneliness and anxiety.[15][16][17][18][19][20] The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says pets can decrease your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, triglyceride levels and feelings of loneliness. Pets can increase your opportunities for exercise and outdoor activities and opportunities for socialization. Caring for a pet encourages responsibility and adherence to a daily schedule.

Pets for Vets developed a program focusing on addressing these issues by bringing together animals needing to be rescued and veterans needing a companion for a better quality of life. Not every veteran qualifies for a psychiatric service dog, however everyone who wants one can benefit from a companion or pet animal.

Studies linking pet ownership to healthier living[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "What We Do". Pets for Vets. Retrieved 15 November 2011. 
  2. ^ Pets for Vets website About Us and How You Can Help. Retrieved May 21, 2010.
  3. ^ Pets for Vets, Retrieved 10.08.09
  4. ^ "Marine Corps Offers Yoga, Massages to Marriages Strained by War". Fox News. Associated Press. 2008-04-02. Retrieved 2008-04-03. 
  5. ^ Dixon, Laura (February 28, 2009). "Lance Corporal Johnson Beharry accuses Government of neglecting soldiers". London: Times Online. Retrieved 2009-08-29. 
  6. ^ Hickley, Matthew; Hope, Jenny (2009-03-02). "British troops in Afghanistan face mental health timebomb 'on the scale of Vietnam' | Mail Online". London: Dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved 2009-08-29. 
  7. ^ "UK | Full interview: L/Cpl Johnson Beharry". BBC News. 2009-02-28. Retrieved 2009-08-29. 
  8. ^ MSNBC - Mental Health, Retrieved 10.08.09
  9. ^ Atlanta Metro News-Research: War feeds depression and PTSD, Retrieved 10.08.09
  10. ^ American Psychiatric Association (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders: DSM-IV. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association. ISBN 0-89042-061-0. ; on-line
  11. ^ Brunet A, Akerib V, Birmes P (2007). "Don't throw out the baby with the bathwater (PTSD is not overdiagnosed)" (PDF). Can J Psychiatry 52 (8): 501–2; discussion 503. PMID 17955912. Retrieved 2008-03-12. 
  12. ^ David Satcher et al. (1999). "Chapter 4.2". Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General. 
  13. ^ ASPCA Facts, Retrieved 10.08.09
  14. ^ Military News: Army Studies Use of Dogs for PTSD, Retrieved 10.08.09
  15. ^ Asp, Karen (2005). "Volunteer Pets". Prevention 57 (4): 176–78. Retrieved 2006-11-05.  Academic Search Elite. EBSCOhost. Polk Library, UW Oshkosh
  16. ^ Allen, K; Shykoff, Be; Izzo, Jl, Jr (1 October 2001). "Pet ownership, but not ace inhibitor therapy, blunts home blood pressure responses to mental stress." (FREE FULL TEXT). Hypertension 38 (4): 815–20. ISSN 0194-911X. PMID 11641292. 
  17. ^ Kingwell, Ba; Lomdahl, A; Anderson, Wp (October 2001). "Presence of a pet dog and human cardiovascular responses to mild mental stress.". Clinical autonomic research 11 (5): 313–7. doi:10.1007/BF02332977. ISSN 0959-9851. PMID 11758798. 
  18. ^ Wilson, Cc (October 1987). "Physiological responses of college students to a pet.". The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 175 (10): 606–12. doi:10.1097/00005053-198710000-00005. ISSN 0022-3018. PMID 3655768. 
  19. ^ Koivusilta, Leena K. (2006). "To Have or Not To Have a Pet for Better Health?". PLoS ONE 1: e109. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0000109. PMC 1762431. PMID 17205113. 
  20. ^ Vormbrock, Jk; Grossberg, Jm (October 1988). "Cardiovascular effects of human-pet dog interactions.". Journal of behavioral medicine 11 (5): 509–17. doi:10.1007/BF00844843. ISSN 0160-7715. PMID 3236382. 

External links[edit]