K9s For Warriors and Merrick Pet Care are once again joining together to demonstrate the effective role service dogs play in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disability (PTSD) among American military veterans.
Merrick announced at Global Pet Expo that it will now offer its Hero’s Banquet canned recipe year-round. The company will also donate a portion of the item’s proceeds to underwrite research at Purdue University’s Center for the Human-Animal Bond on how pairing specially trained rescue dogs with veterans suffering from PTSD and traumatic brain injury (TBI) helps veterans readjust to civilian life.
“More than half a million war veterans suffer from post-traumatic stress disability and struggle to see that there is life after combat,” said Shari Duval, president of K9s For Warriors. “We know these specially trained service dogs give warriors suffering from PTSD a new lease on life, and with Merrick’s help we are now going to be able to scientifically validate this particular treatment’s success.”
The $250,000 donated by Merrick will allow for research to create guidelines to identify the organizational and service dog training standards required to achieve desired outcomes.
“There is currently no comprehensive evidence to support the validity of service dogs as an effective therapeutic intervention for veterans diagnosed with PTSD or their families, and we’re hoping to change that,” said Greg Shearson, CEO of Merrick Pet Care.