If you frequently find yourself a reader of this blog, you know about the staggering numbers of veterans that are suffering from PTSD and traumatic brain injury (TBI). Because of these high numbers, the medical profession, especially within the VA, is trying to come up with new and better ways to treat these conditions. One such method that is growing in popularity these days, and is doing so because it is proving to be effective, is none other than man’s best friend.
Pets Healing Vets is a program run by the Humane Society for Hamilton County (IN) that provides shelter animals for free to Hoosier veterans with PTSD, TBI or both. It also includes the animal’s training and medical care for life. The purpose of the dogs is to provide an outlet for the veterans to cry or talk to without worry of being judged. The dogs will continue to be by the veteran’s side no matter how bad the nightmares are.
Justin Morseth of Carmel, IN said:
My dogs let me be broken in front of them. They don’t judge. My bad days don’t ruin their days. I don’t have to add that guilt to the pile of emotions I’m already feeling. Instead, they offer consistent affection and love. They don’t give up on me.
Morseth was the inspiration for Pets Healing Vets. Since 2012 thirteen veterans in the county have been paired with rescue dogs. Greg Sexton, an Army Reserves staff sergeant from Noblesville, IN said “you get to rescue a dog, and the dog kind of gets to rescue you too.” Sexton’s black lab Patton senses his owner’s fear among crowds of people and will serve to sort of guard him.
The Humane Society’s manager, Becki Harris, said it has been “really neat to get to see the transformations.” The program has been working so well that there is talk of expanding the program to include law enforcement officers suffering from PTSD.
Struggling with PTSD or TBI?
If you are struggling with PTSD or TBI, consider adopting a dog. It takes minimal effort on your part to show attention to a dog, but imagine the benefits of being able to talk to a friend that will just listen and not give you a hard time in return.
If you need assistance with a VA benefits claim for PTSD or TBI, we are here to help. Call Bosley & Bratch at (800) 953-6224 or complete our free evaluation form.