This week we welcomed one of the graduates of the American Humane’s Pups4Patriots program, Dottie, along with her service dog, Annie and Director of Major Gifts, Emily Sparks.
We were honored that Dottie shared her story with us about what led her to complete the Pups4Patriots program. With the unconditional support of Annie, she was able to work through the stresses of life after serving in the military by putting her mental health first, in addition to coping with PTSD and anxiety. Annie shows up for Dottie everyday whether it’s urging her to go outside in the fresh air, gently reminding her of mealtimes, or deescalating an anxiety attack by refocusing the attention on herself. The Spurrier Group team were all moved by her testimony, her bravery, and her work to destigmatize traumas suffered by female and male veterans alike.
The Pups4Patriots Program finds dogs in search of forever homes and trains them to be lifesaving service dogs for veterans with PTSD or Traumatic Brain Injury. All dogs are trained by standards developed by a Scientific Advisory Committee that include scientists, veteran experts, mental health professionals, animal welfare specialists, dog trainers, and other key advocates. Research shows that trained service dogs can reduce stress and anxiety levels, mitigate depression, ease social reintegration, provide comfort and restore confidence in veterans. Currently, the program is run from six states and Emily’s dream is that one day all fifty states will have access to service dogs through American Humane.
This program is only made possible through the generous support of donors. If you’d like to make a real difference in the lives of American heroes, you can show your support to veterans and pups, like Dottie and Annie, by visiting the link below and clicking the DONATE button.
Thank you Dottie for sharing your story and thank you Annie for being such a good floofer of a yellow lab!