Sunday, September 29, 2013

Please Support K9s for Warriors

Here is a very important guest post from veterinarian Patrick Mahaney:

Have you or your family, friends, or coworkers benefited from the companionship of a service dog? Those who have psychiatric conditions are seemingly the most in need, with military veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) being at high risk for self-harm, including suicide.

The United States Department of Veterans Affairs reports that every 65 minutes a veteran commits suicide, and the department identifies a strong correlation between PTSD and veterans who end their own lives. An alarming 755,200 veterans suffer from PTSD and 184 new cases are diagnosed every day.

K9s for Warriors is a organization that rescues dogs and trains them to be service animals for veterans with PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury. The dogs chosen to be part of K9s for Warriors are saved from shelter-based euthanasia and trained to meet Canine Good Citizen standards before being paired with their warriors.

Animal Fair’s Wendy Diamond has championed the K9s for Warriors cause and is hosting the Bark Business Benefit Tour, a series of awareness and fundraising events in multiple cities across the U.S. Diamond’s efforts have attracted support from Halo Purely For Pets (Ellen DeGeneres's pet food company), American Express Open, Loews hotels, and Omni hotels.

Diamond (and I) hope you will inspire your troops (friends, family, etc.) to join our fundraiser, attend the L.A. Bark Breakfast Benefit (Saturday, October 5, at 10 a.m. at the Omni — Downtown Los Angeles), and help a Los Angeles-based veteran with PTSD participate in the K9s for Warriors program.

K9s for Warriors donates 94 percent of every dollar received directly to the veterans and their service dogs. The remaining 6 percent is used on fundraising and overhead.

I’ve started my own Crowdrise fundraising page, Help Fund a Military Veteran's Service Dog Through K9s for Warriors, in anticipation of the upcoming Los Angeles event. Please join me at the event by donating $116 for your ticket. If you can’t attend, please contribute any amount within your budget ($20, $40, $100, etc.).

If you can’t afford to donate, please help spread the word and direct those who can help our cause by posting on your social media channels (e.g., Facebook, Twitter etc.) via this link: Help Fund a Military Veteran's Service Dog Through K9s for Warriors