Dog Bless you

Help a Veteran get a Dog

I’ve explained my deep connection to the power of the pooch to you all in a prior post. Here is an organization that I urge you to support. They are donating service dogs to veterans. It will cost you nothing to support their efforts. Here is their press release:

Dog Bless You Launches Social Media Challenge Grant to Pair Service Dogs with Military Vets in Need 

Philanthropic Dog Community to Donate a Service Dog for Every 1,000 Follows to its Facebook, Tumblr or Pinterest Pages through the end of July;

Offers People a Way to Support Troops without Opening Wallet   

Santa Monica, CA- Dog Bless You, a philanthropic community created to champion the selfless acts of dogs and celebrate the unique role they play in improving the human condition, issued a challenge grant today that will pair service and companion dogs with military veterans in need. The challenge grant, dubbed Sprit of ‘76, aims to provide people an easy and free way to contribute to a good deed and show support to service men and women, while providing a platform for sharing unique stories and raising awareness about the healing role dogs play in the lives of those affected by war.

From now until Independence Day (July 4th) Dog Bless You will donate a service or companion dog to an American veteran in need for every 1,000 followers to its Facebook, Pinterest or Tumblr pages. From PTSD to those with life changing injuries, the organization will feature new pictures, videos and stories of war veterans and their dogs every day and work with dozens of service dog organizations to foster discussions aimed at educating and inspiring. 

Dog Bless You was founded and is led by Charlie Annenberg Weingarten, vice president of The Annenberg Foundation, who is also the founder of explore.org, a philanthropic media organization created to champion the selfless acts of others and inspire lifelong learning. Since its founding 2011, Dog Bless You has used challenge grants to brings search and rescue dogs to locations ravaged by disasters, pair seeing eye dogs with the blind, and bring more than 40 service dogs to veterans with PTSD. This year’s challenge grant, valued at up to one million dollars, will be the biggest initiative in the community’s history. The organization never asks for donations, believing that the commitment of time and show of support is the best vehicle for creating awareness and engagement around important issues. 

“Dogs are the guardian angels of the human soul, and few people need or deserve them more than those who have served our country” said Annenberg. “If we entrust dogs to help critical missions on the fields of war, we should entrust dogs to help take care of our men and women at home”. 

Participating organizations include Pets to Vets, Soldier’s Best Friend, Puppies Behind Bars, Freedom Service Dogs, Paws for Purple Hearts, Paws and Stripes, Patriotic Paws, and ECAD, with more to be added during the course of the campaign. 

 More about Issues Facing Veterans: 

45 percent of the 1.6 million veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are now seeking compensation for injuries they say are service-related

  • Veterans are claiming eight to nine ailments on average, and the most recent ones over the last year are claiming 11 to 14
  • Forty percent of all homeless people are veterans.
  • PTSD occurs in about 11-20% of Veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars (Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom), 10% of Veterans of the Gulf War (Desert Storm), and 30% of Vietnam Veterans.
  • Studies estimate that 1 in every 5 military personnel returning from Iraq and Afghanistan has PTSD.
  • Health care costs for all veterans with PTSD will be an estimated $6.2 billion biannually.
  • Eighteen veterans will commit suicide every day  

I’m honored to support Dog Bless You and spread the word of their campaign. Dogs can make a difference with our veterans. I know one who has already.

Sammy Adams Hanrahan…. just lounging around waiting for some love.

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17 thoughts on “Help a Veteran get a Dog

  1. Rhianon Etzweiler

    Not sure if you’re aware of the story, but the photo you posted above with the dog in the pack? That soldier was injured by an IED not long after… and his squad and family pulled strings with the help of an adoption and relocation charity to bring the pup to him stateside. I have the links to the news articles, along with a photo of them both together back here in the states during his recovery, it’s in the archives on soldierporn.tumblr.com (somewhere).

    Thank you for sharing this charity’s story, definitely going to spread the word!

    Reply
    1. Kevin Hanrahan Post author

      Hi Rhianon. My goodness…..I did not know this. I would really appreciate you posting the links. That is an amazing “rest of the story”. Thank you very much and thanks for spreading the word.

      Reply
      1. Rhianon Etzweiler

        “How to Save a Life.”
        http://soldierporn.tumblr.com/post/16749238707/how-to-save-a-life-eslinger-and-smoke-reunited

        His name is Smoke. His soldier’s name is Donny Eslinger, and “he was hit by mortar fire while on patrol Sept. 24 [2011], suffering a penetrating chest wound, a head injury, broken ribs and a broken leg. He also lost his spleen.”

        The original news article ran in the Orlando Sentinel back in January.
        http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2012-01-23/news/os-eslinger-son-recovering-20120123_1_seminole-sheriff-puppy-walter-reed

        Reply
  2. Sloan

    This is a wonderful way to support our wounded heroes! Thanks for sharing it! I’ll be doing what I can on my end to participate and help spread the word. Many Blessings, Sloan

    Reply
  3. Mandy

    Beautiful story. So proud of what you are doing with your posts in bringing all this to our attention. Many times I have felt helpless in knowing what to do to help & honor those who serve to protect us. You have given a whole new option to me & many Americans to make sure we at home do our part. I will share with everyone & now have a list of places to chose from for donations.
    God Bless,
    Mandy

    Reply
  4. Adriana Johnson

    Hi Kevin,

    Thank your for taking the time to write out the statistics it shows the deep struggles veterans have. This post also shows such a great cause and enlists others. Great idea. May these organizations get the support they need. I like the picture of your dog and the soldier smiles with their companions. The military is blessed to have you it is a great door you have opened. Well wishes to all connected.

    Sincerely,
    Adriana Johnson

    Reply
    1. Kevin Hanrahan Post author

      Hi Adriana…. Thank you. I can’t take the credit for the stats though….. those were Dog Bless You’s stats. Although they are quite startling….. I had to think about it for a while. Veteran is a broad term and probably encompasses more than just our vets from Iraq and Afghanistan. Still very scary.

      Reply
  5. Shelley Schanfield

    Hey, Kevin,

    I don’t know how I got over to your blog (maybe by following some writing tweet) but glad to be here.

    Thanks for posting this. Great to see the healing power of human-animal relationships at work, and happy to support it with my ‘like’ of Dog Bless You’s page.

    Congratulations on landing an agent. I’m just starting the query process myself.

    Reply
    1. Kevin Hanrahan Post author

      Hi Shelley. I am glad you found us! Thank you for support Dog Bless You. One service pup can make a difference…… I posted a piece on what I did right and wrong during my query process that you might find helpful. Best of luck…… it is not an easy process! What to Do and Not to Do During the Query Process

      Reply
  6. Susan

    This is one of the best and most important programs available! Dogs are the best friends anyone can have! For a Veteran, they are much more than friends – they are angels of light.

    Reply
    1. Kevin Hanrahan Post author

      Hi Susan. Thank you for supporting the organization. I couldn’t agree more with you. Both my dogs are lying by my feet now!

      Reply
  7. James

    I too can attest to the healing power of a dog. Former marine turned k-9 handler; the canines I’ve had since have been more than just a tool or a partner, they become friends and family. So good to see stories like this and knowing there are people/organizations working in this way. Thanks for sharing the story!

    Reply
    1. Kevin Hanrahan Post author

      It is an honor James. I couldn’t agree more with you. I was building a post for next Wednesday this morning. It is all about the power of K9 healers! Semper Fi!

      Reply
  8. Pingback: Yea! | CO Salutes Our Veterans

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