To honor veterans and their commitment to service in the face of sacrifice, Dog Bless You, will donate 11 service dogs to veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Beginning Nov. 11 – Veterans Day – Dog Bless You will give away one dog per day for 11 days, ending Nov. 22.
In just a year since its launch, Dog Bless You has grown to nearly 275,000 members on Facebook backing its multitude of philanthropic projects, like funding the mobilization of search and rescue dogs following the earthquake and tsunami in Japan this spring.
While programs that pair service dogs with soldiers have sprung up in pockets across the country, Dog Bless You strives to create a steady stream of dog donations to better and more easily serve veterans.
Post-traumatic stress disorder is one of the most prevalent health concerns for soldiers returning from action overseas. Over 500,000 U.S. troops deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001 have been diagnosed with PTSD, and treatment for such psychological wounds of war has proved difficult. Time and time again, service dogs have made a difference in the lives of veterans with PTSD. The stories are harrowing and moving – from one soldier’s testimony that his service dog kept him from committing to suicide, to hundreds of families thanking companion and service dogs for bringing their loved ones back from the darkness of war. It is this profound impact dogs have on the betterment of the human condition that inspires the Dog Bless You community.
The work of Dog Bless You is coordinated and funded by explore.org, a non-profit multimedia organization led by Charlie Annenberg Weingarten. It’s campaign on Facebook this summer led to the donation of more than 30 dogs to veterans with PTSD.