APPA Teams Up With ARF
APPA pledged $1 million over the next four years to support expansion of Pets and Vets, which pairs shelter animals with veterans coping with PTSD, traumatic brain injuries, anxiety and other service-related challenges. ARF then guides the veteran-dog teams through a 10 month psychiatric support dog training program.
Unlike service dog programs that cost thousands of dollars and involve long wait lists, ARF’s program operates on shorter timelines with no out-of-pocket expenses to the veteran. Teams complete service training curriculum together in small, veteran-only classes, deepening the bond between the veterans and their dogs.
“ARF's Pets and Vets program aligns perfectly with APPA’s mission to promote responsible pet ownership, as well as the joys and health benefits associated with owning a pet,” said Bob Vetere, president and CEO of APPA. “We couldn’t think of a better way to give back than to help connect rescued service dogs with men and women who have served our country and can truly benefit from the unconditional love, security, service and companionship of a dog. The APPA board and staff are tremendously proud of this new endeavor that will positively impact the lives of countless heroes and their pets for years to come.”
“ARF’s Pets and Vets program is truly an example of saving [lives on] both ends of the leash,” said Elena Bicker, executive director of ARF. “We’re excited to have APPA join us in this important mission that can change the lives of so many animals and veterans.”