videos: America’s VetDogs, YouTube
Each year, I look for unique Christmas cards to send that mean something special to me. It’s always a fun project for me to decide what to create or buy. I often start months ahead!
Last year, I was thrilled to find animal themed cards that supported two organizations in my home state of NY: America’s VetDogs and The Guide Dog Foundation. In the next few blog posts, I hope to share some information about these organizations. After buying the cards, I’ve received news updates and have grown rather attached to their mission and hope to highlight the good work they do.
America’s VetDogs was founded in 2003 to help returning veterans not only with physical tasks, but also with mental health healing and support.
It costs $50,000 to train and place a service dog. The Today Show has been following one dog, Charlie, in hopes to raise awareness and funds for the organization. Operation VetDogs hopes to raise $250,000 or more.
An example of a success story featured in America’s VetDogs newsletter: Joe Worley lost much of his left leg (as well as suffering damage to the other leg) in Iraq. He came home with mental anguish as well, finding it difficult to adjust to daily life as a civilian with terrible injuries that required him to depend heavily on others.
His VetDog Benjamin gave him confidence to try more tasks and also opened him up socially. Before having the dog, he would walk only a few steps from his wheelchair before becoming discouraged. With Benjamin, he could spend 85% of his day wearing his prosthetic and looking forward to the tasks ahead of him.
Joe now works for America’s VetDogs, presenting at shows, conventions, and schools across the country. He works as a veterans relations liaison, making sure dogs and vets are paired together well.
Benjamin is now retired and is a pet in his family. His new service dog is Galaxie.
Above are videos showcasing some of the skills the dogs are trained to do.
You can shop at and/or support VetDogs here.
video below: Today Show featuring Joe, Benjamin, Galaxie, and Charlie