The Value of a Service Dog for Disabled Veterans
Many disabled men and women have returned from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They served their country and yet there are often not many financial or psychological supports available to deal with their special needs. Even veterans who have supportive families have a high rate of depression that leads to suicide.
Over the past decade or so, the value of dogs in people’s lives has been intrinsically studied. There are many examples of this special connection in the media. Meagan Leavey was affected by a military combat dog that saved many lives in the war in Iraq. She had to wage a personal battle to get the dog she loved safely back to the USA.
Just how can animals have such an effect on people that they can save their lives too? Pets provide psychological support. They’re non-judgmental and they love unconditionally. They don’t complain if you don’t get out of bed in the morning—in fact they’ll cuddle up to you to make you feel better.
For service dogs, they provide additional support for disabled veterans. Many veterans return home in a wheelchair. They can’t do the things they used to do. Whether they have families to assist them at home or not, a service dog can do many duties.
Service dogs have been trained to retrieve items that a person needs. They can assist at home, at work, or out in public. For people who’ve lost sight or hearing, they can notify you if someone is at the door, or if the phone is ringing. They can also alert you if something is wrong in the home. For instance, perhaps you left the kettle on to boil for too long, or the smoke detectors are going off, or the sink is overflowing. A dog can retrieve keys that you’ve dropped on the floor. They can even get the laundry out of the dryer. You’d be amazed at all they can do for you.
Often there are many ways a service dog can help a disabled veteran that we can’t quite put a paw on yet, but they’ll prove their worth.
At k9heros.org, we provide free service dogs to disabled veterans. There are other programs, but they require that you pay for the dog. But many veterans return home on minor pensions and aren’t able to work a full-time job ever again. Often funds can be tight, and many veterans simply can’t afford a service dog.
K9heroes.org is a community benefit fundraising company that helps to match the best service dog with a person. You will also assist in the selection, as it’s important that you are satisfied with the choice.
A dog can work as a service dog, a therapy dog, or a companion dog. Not all veterans are physically disabled; some return psychologically disabled and need the comfort of a pet 24/7.
If you’d like more information about our service dog program for disabled veterans, please contact us today.