Boots & Paws

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Boots & Paws

Guardian Revival's Boots & Paws Program provides veterans in need with working dogs. Dogs are awarded along with a care package, which includes professional training sessions, veterinary coverage and food for up to a year, toys, leashes, and other essential care equipment.

Veterans in Need

Mental illness is disproportionately high among American veterans. Every day, 22 veterans commit suicide; some believe that number may be higher. Some of the most common conditions include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and alcohol abuse. Psychiatric disorders after traumatic brain injury (TBI) are also frequent.

Treatment for mental health issues can be complicated, especially for those who also need treatment for chronic pain or other conditions. They’re also prone to health risks specific to the war or region in which they served, and many are living with disability, chronic pain, and other service-related illnesses. Every military family has their own story of personal challenges, and each service member has been forever changed in some way by their experiences of military culture and demands, warfare, fear, or grief.

Healing Through Animal Ownership

Researchers are accumulating evidence that bonding with dogs has biological effects, such as elevated levels of oxytocin and serotonin. Oxytocin decreases paranoia and also improves the ability to trust and read facial expressions; this may negate some symptoms of these debilitating conditions. A positive social network is important for veterans in order to have a more seamless transition back into society. While support from friends and family may provide similar benefits, stressful interpersonal relationships may be detrimental. Studies have shown that animal ownership can make an individual feel more relaxed with decreased stress. It’s also the case that social support provided by a dog can encourage more social interactions with people, reducing feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Boots & Paws Recipients

Veterans Apply Here

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