For more than 20 years, GreaterGood has raised millions each year to impact lives around the world, and we are so grateful for your support. Every daily click at GreaterGood.com helps us continue with vital projects around the world.
One of those programs is helping heal the emotional wounds of military veterans by pairing each one with a shelter dog specifically matched to his or her personality.
GreaterGood.org’s partnership with Pets for Vets has made over 350 Veteran-pet matches, and the stories from our Veterans illustrate the positive impact their trained companion pets are having on their lives. When a Veteran is matched with the right pet, both lives change for the better. The Veteran saves the animal and welcomes him/her into a loving home. The pet provides unconditional love and support, easing stress, depression, loneliness and anxiety.
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Many of our brave soldiers have returned home with physical and emotional injuries that have made it difficult to transition back to normal civilian life. Medical studies have shown that companion animals significantly improve mental and physical health, reducing stress, depression, and anxiety symptoms experienced by many serving in the military. According to the ASPCA, 6-8 million dogs and cats are abandoned at shelters in the U.S., and more than half of these animals are euthanized because there is no one to adopt them.
Providing a veteran with a dog betters their life in many ways, and it also gives a dog a second chance to have a forever home. These animals make excellent companions but might not otherwise have that opportunity, and our brave soldiers receive a second chance at health and happiness. The bonds of friendship formed between man and animal have the power to ease the suffering of our troops when they return from overseas.
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Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, going to the dog park, spending time with his daughter, and coffee.