Dog’s that have lost their families at Fort Bragg are getting a second chance at a happy ending thanks to a special program. The Guardians of Rescue will be at the Fort Bragg Animal Shelter today to pull dogs for their Soldier-to-Soldier program – a program that pairs veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) with dogs.
“We are ready to help rescue these dogs and place them with as many veterans as we can, to assist with their therapy,” explains Robert Misseri, president of Guardians of Rescue. “We will place as many of the dogs as possible with vets, and beyond that will work to find good homes for the rest.”
PTSD is a psychological condition that can arise after someone has experienced a traumatic event – such as being directly involved in combat. An estimated 400,000 veterans currently suffer from the disorder and animal therapy has prove to be beneficial in helping them.
Under the Soldier-to-Soldier program, shelter dogs are paired with veterans suffering from PTSD or other psychological issues. The program is headed by Veteran Army Corporal John Wallace who teamed up with the group after they sent him “Tommy,” a dog who the soldiers cared for during the war in Afghanistan known as “Operation Enduring Freedom.” Together, they have helped transport 10 dogs from Afghanistan to the United States and have reunited them with the U.S. soldiers who cared for them during combat.
“Many times, soldiers rely on the dogs during war time and create special bonds with them,” explains John Wallace. “But when the troops finally leave, the animals are just left to fend for themselves, and often become targeted. Reuniting these soldiers with the dogs they had while deployed is therapeutic.”
The Soldier-to-Soldier program that the group is implementing helps those who must leave their pet behind. They find homes with other soldiers, so that one military member is helping another one out. All of the dogs rescued from the base will be placed in homes.
“We want to do all we can to help rescue these dogs, as well as help the veterans of this country,” added Misseri. “Our trek down to Fort Bragg will bring a lot of good to both sides, as we make good matches. Fort Bragg has been very supportive of our efforts and organization.”
“Working with Guardians of Rescue is a win-win-win for all parties, the service members suffering with PTSD, the animals we have rescued and our Animal Control and Adoption Center,” said Colonel Jeffrey M. Sanborn, the Fort Bragg garrison commander. ”This is a great example of how our Soldiers are being supported by communities nation-wide.”
To learn more, or to make a donation to support the Guardians of Rescue go online check out their Facebook page or help with their charity auction online.