Katie Bertoglio-Harris via Crowdrise
January 15, 2012
Any veteran from any war knows the suffering involved with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). And now with so many returning men and women from Iraq and Afghanistan, the numbers of veterans in our country with PTSD is staggering. Add the frequent incidents with IED’s (Improvised Explosive Devices), and you have a significant increase in Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) as well. Both disabilities often come together, and insurance companies do not cover the use of service dogs to assist the veteran with symptoms associated with PTSD and TBI. Thus, to obtain such a dog, one would have to provide at least $10,000 to $30,000 or spend countless months seeking grant money to cover it. For a veteran to complete the Paws and Stripes™ program, the cost is a flat $2000. Furthermore, Paws and Stripes™ covers this cost, and the veteran never pays a penny of it.
Paws and Stripes™ allows the veteran to choose their own dog, then train the dog with the professional trainers from A Fresh Perspective Dog Training. Involving the veteran in every aspect of the program facilitates healing, builds self-esteem, increases the bond with the dog, and provides the veteran with the tools to maintain the dog’s training long after graduation.
With homeless dogs and over-populated shelters all over the country, Paws and Stripes™ does not breed puppies for the program, nor does it use any breeders as a resource. The organization works with the veteran until they find the dog that is the perfect fit from local shelters and foster homes.
All in all, Paws and Stripes strives to bring peace and normalcy to the lives of our nation's heroes and see that homeless dogs find a loving home -
and that both may find a new purpose in life.