The Issue: PTSD or Traumatic Brain Injuries Among Veterans
An estimated 300,000 veterans who have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan are living with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or depression, according to the US Department of Veterans Affairs. Additionally, while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, about 320,000 American troops have sustained traumatic brain injuries, which are poorly understood and can sometimes produce lasting physical, mental, and emotional problems, the New York Times reports.
The Campaign: Providing Veterans with Pet Companions
If this Grassroots campaign raises $450, then Humane Society for Hamilton County can provide pet companions to six veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder or a traumatic brain injury. In addition to providing the animal, those donations will cover the costs of one round of vaccinations, spaying or neutering, microchipping, 30 days of pet insurance, one wellness checkup, and one 5-pound bag of food. Each additional $75 raised will be used to provide another veteran with a pet companion.
Through its Pets Healing Vets program—the only program of its kind supporting Indiana veterans—Humane Society for Hamilton County pairs dogs and cats from its shelter with veterans. An animal behaviorist and certified trainer help with the pairing to ensure the best possible match. Program facilitators have found that veterans often relate to shelter animals that have been misunderstood due to anxieties associated with prior abuse. Whether it’s a loyal dog that helps them feel safe or a loving feline waiting for them at home, pet companions can help veterans heal—sometimes by simply being a living thing that depends on them.
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Humane Society for Hamilton County
Humane Society for Hamilton County aims to save the lives of cats and dogs through foster-care and adoption programs. The open-admission shelter accepts both strays and owner-surrendered animals regardless of breed, age, or medical needs, and it does not euthanize adoptable pets based on time or space limitations. Additionally, the organization raises awareness about animal rights and educates the community through animal-training and behavioral-support programs, low-cost spay and neuter services, pit-bull education, and other community resources.