Press release: Petco Love
National nonprofit Petco Love is awarding nearly $1 million to support “Helping Heroes” this Veterans Day. The Helping Heroes initiative focuses on organizations that take pets from shelters and transform them into heroes to assist people in need, primarily our nation’s veterans. Since 2009, Petco Love’s investment of more than $16 million bolsters efforts to train and support animals who dedicate their lives to saving and improving the lives of others.
A multi-phase research program at Purdue University indicates that veterans paired with service dogs showed lower PTSD symptom severity and better mental health. Purdue professor Maggie O’Haire said, “We’ve demonstrated that service dogs can provide a higher quality of life for some of our nation’s veterans living with PTSD. Expanded funding, like that provided by Petco Love, is essential to meet the demand to expand this much-needed research.”
“This Veterans Day, we are reminded that 18 veterans lose their lives every day to suicide. There is an overwhelming demand for trained service and companion dogs to support their needs,” said Petco Love President Susanne Kogut. “We are honored to provide the vital support necessary to assure that more shelter dogs can become trained canine companions to help veterans — saving lives at both ends of the leash.”
A selection of organizations receiving investments include:
K9s For Warriors: Trains shelter dogs to be heroes for veterans nationwide with post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury and/or military sexual trauma at their main headquarters in Florida and at the Petco Love K9 Center in San Antonio, Texas.
Working Dogs For Vets: Adopts shelter dogs and trains them to help disabled veterans, empowering them as they return to civilian life.
4 Paws 4 Patriots: Provides medical/psychiatric service dogs to change the lives of disabled veterans and their families.
Shelter to Soldier: Adopts dogs from local shelters and trains them to become psychiatric service dogs for post-9/11 veterans suffering from service-related trauma.
K9 Partners For Patriots, Inc.: Adopts qualifying shelter and rescue dogs to help veterans who are facing a war all over again as they cope with anxieties born of service-related PTSD, traumatic brain injury and/or military sexual trauma.
Since its founding in 1999 as the Petco Foundation, the nonprofit has empowered animal welfare organizations by investing $330 million in adoption and other lifesaving efforts. It has helped find loving homes for more than 6.5 million pets in partnership with Petco and organizations nationwide.s