They fight, make extraordinary sacrifices, and die to protect our freedom. So once a year, when Veterans Day arrives, let’s remember not only to display our flags and give America’s veterans our humble thanks, but also to give real, tangible aid to those who served and who may now need our help.
To provide veterans with the assistance they have more than earned, American Humane, this country’s first national humane organization which has also been supporting the U.S. military, veterans, and military animals for more than 100 years, provides a wide range of programs and services including free, lifesaving help for those who continue to battle the invisible wounds of war – deadly Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Here are just some of American Humane’s free programs and initiatives to help our nation’s veterans and military animals:
- Pups4Patriots Service Dog Program: American Humane rescues abandoned dogs in need of forever homes and trains them to become lifesaving service dogs for veterans with PTS and TBI – at no cost to the veterans. The Pups4Patriots program saves lives at both ends of the leash, seeking to stem the tide of veteran suicide, which takes 20 lives each day, and rescue more of the hundreds of thousands of adoptable dogs euthanized each year.
- Wags4Patriots Service Dog Grants: In addition to its Pups4Patriots program, American Humane offers a number of Wags4Patriots grants to help veterans secure service dogs on their own.
- Battle Buddies Program: American Humane brings home retired war dogs from overseas, arranges for lifetime medical care, and reunites them with their former handlers at no charge so these heroes can enjoy a happy, healthy, well-deserved retirement together.
- Operation Service Dog Access: To prevent discrimination against veterans with service dogs, American Humane and the National Association of Veteran-Serving Organizations (NAVSO) created “Operation Service Dog Access,” the first assessment and credentialing program for veterans and their service dogs. American Humane partnered with NAVSO, The Schultz Family Foundation, and other experts to create national standards for service dogs of veterans suffering from PTS and TBI, in addition to a thorough application and hands-on assessment process for service dogs and their handlers. This independent, rigorous credentialing program evaluates the legitimacy of each veteran and service dog pair through an assessment and public performance evaluation, monitored by unbiased experts. Veterans can apply to become credentialed and each veteran and service dog pair that successfully completes the assessment is entered into a nationwide, publicly-accessible database found at www.servicedogaccess.org.
- Pups for Patriots Act of 2017: American Humane invites support for H.R. 3335, the “Pups for Patriots Act of 2017,” sponsored by Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.) and co-sponsored by Henry Cuellar(D-Texas), both chairs of the Congressional Humane Bond Caucus. The bill is intended to increase the quantity and quality of lifesaving, highly trained service dogs for veterans with PTS and TBI by calling for a pilot program administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that will provide service dogs and mandate an adherence to national standards for the selection, training, and assessment of the service dogs.
“Our nation’s veterans served our country and it is now time to serve them,” says American Humane President and CEO Dr. Robin Ganzert. “We want to thank our brave veterans, invite the public to support them in every way possible, and remind all our veterans, their families, and friends that tools to help them win their battles at home are available, including highly trained service dogs who can save lives. Please visit www.AmericanHumane.org to learn more about these critical services and to support America’s veterans. And thank you for your service!”