These days, service animals provide a variety of benefits to aid the physical or mental impairments of their caretakers.
Those who have psychiatric conditions are seemingly the most in need, with military veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) being at high risk for self-harm, including suicide.
The Unites States Department of Veterans Affairs reports that every 65 minutes a veteran commits suicide. There is a strong correlation between PTSD and military-veteran suicide. An alarming 755,200 veterans suffer from PTSD and 184 new cases are diagnosed every day.
There is no magic treatment for PTSD. The road to recovery is long, and sometimes there is no recovery at all. Depending on the study referenced, anywhere between 10 percent and 40 percent of returning veterans have PTSD. Symptoms include aggression, depression, panic attacks and memory loss.
Fortunately, there’s a new wave of outreach; concerned individuals who are striving to help veterans by raising funds so a service dog can be acquired to provide much needed companionship and assistance with day-to-day living.
1pet1vet.com is a unique organization, founded by Veterans, that rescues dogs and trains them to be service dogs for veterans with PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury. The dogs chosen to be part of 1pet1vet are pulled from shelters, saved from the potential fate of euthanasia, and trained to be paired with their warriors.
For those returning from a battlefield, human relationships are loaded with complications. Our relationship with dogs is love at its simplest.
It’s not surprising, then, that dogs from 1pet1vet.com may be a powerful tool in reducing the effects of PTSD. Studies have shown that playing with and petting a dog, or even staring into a dog’s eyes, releases oxytocin, the hormone associated with feelings of love, pleasure and affection. In veterans, research has shown oxytocin decreases the physiological response to combat memories.
Dogs from the organization 1pet1vet.com have the potential to do far more. Initial studies by the Psychiatric Service Dog Society found that 82 percent of dog handlers with PTSD reported a decline in symptoms after working with the canines.
The dogs help them to calm down and may make things seem more manageable. Service dogs from 1pet1vet.com help veterans with crowd anxiety and personal space and mobility issues common to PTSD.
The number of divorces, substance abuse problems and unemployment among veterans with PTSD exceed those in the general population. Suicide rates are off the map, with 32 to 39 attempts daily (with about half as many succeeding). What’s happening is tragic and may be preventable.
According to medical professionals (including many at the VA), as well as organizations that train service dogs for veterans with PTSD, vets paired with service dogs always show improvement. Suicide rates nearly disappear. Divorce and substance abuse decline.
The number of pharmaceuticals prescribed for PTSD patients is sometimes obscene, but for those who get a service dog from organizations like 1pet1vet.com, this changes, too.
AMERICA we need your help!! Let’s help our Veterans live their American dream, the one in which they fought so hard to preserve for us! In order to ensure our life saving organization continues 1pet1vet.com needs your help. How? YOU can take action and donate in order to keep this life saving/changing organization alive.
If you can’t afford to donate, please help spread the word and direct those who can help our cause by posting on your social media channels (e.g., Facebook, Twitter etc.)