The connection between a person and a dog is undeniable, and when that person is in need, the relationship can make all the difference.
While talking about dogs puts a smile on most of our face, the underlying issue behind this story is serious. It comes down to the mental health of the people who give everything to defend our country. Statistics show every day, about 22 veterans commit suicide. Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs is an organization that matches people with disabilities, including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, with highly-trained canines.
For veterans returning home, these dogs can be life-changing. But, training each dog costs about $2,200. Last month, PNC Bank raised $500,000 through the annual Mutt Strutt event. That’s enough money to sponsor three veterans with a service dog.
So far, one veteran has already signed up, but organizers are still looking to fill those two spots.
Melissa Morris, of PNC Bank, tells us, “When we were talking to some of the veterans who have already been paired with the dogs, to hear how they changed their life and saved their families, you know, there’s not a dry eye in the room when they’re talking about it. So, it’s super rewarding to know that we’re helping them.”
Organizers with PNC Bank have strong support for the veteran community, so teaming with Guardian Angels was a perfect match. They also tell us they hope to continue this partnership for years to come.
Anyone interested in filling those two extra spots can visit www.medicalservicedogs.org/applications. They can also contact Miranda Jacob with Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs at 352-425-1981.
And for more information about the program, you can visit www.medicalservicedogs.org.