National Pet’s Day is on April 11th and we think pets are pretty amazing….read more to see just HOW amazing!
Amazing PETS help amazing VETS
Many things make us happy at Pet Treater—loving and treating pets is obviously top on our list. We caught up with Clarissa Black, the Founder of Pets for Vets®, who over the years has found a compassionate-solution way to “treat” humans and pets and their needs too!
Pets for Vets® is in its 10th year and going strong! A non-profit that gets to know Veterans to establish their needs and desires in a loving pet companion and a meeting of the “paws” with the pets at local shelters and adoption centers. Yes, they do interview the pets to see if they are a compatible match (even cats and 2 bunnies to be exact). Clarissa stated, “It’s an organic process when choosing/interviewing a pet for one of our amazing Veterans. We look for symbiotic matches initially but in the end the match is as beneficial to the pet as the human on the love and companion scale. Many years ago, my sweet dog proved to be an amazing blessing to Veterans, offering stress-relief and love when I visited the local VA—it is then I realized that there is a companion pet for everyone!”
How does such a wonderful organization get it all done—Volunteers make the “tails” wag!
Currently, Pets for Vets® has 25 Chapters throughout the United States—and let me tell you this is no small feat. These chapters are all volunteer driven and in-depth training knowledge must be prevalent in all the trainers. The qualified trainers will be introduced to the Pets for Vets® system, which is research-driven and effective. Clarissa was clear to state that without the wonderful and giving volunteers, this program would not work. “Even one animal per year trained by one trainer is enough for us. We appreciate ALL that our volunteers give the Veterans and wonderful pets.”
What are some of the benefits of companionship between animals and humans?
It is no surprise that animals provide so much. They are often the social missing link for Veterans, helping to ease:
Trained to recognize the individual needs of their pet parent, these amazing pets strengthen:
- social connections
- boost confidence
- encourage physical fitness
- improve mental well-being
These concerns would make life difficult for any of us, but to have a companion that is with you, no strings attached, and that gets your needs is very crucial for Veterans who experience so much, including PTSD.
How do the trainers and animals keep the fun alive? Well by playing of course!
When asked about the fun these animals get to have during training…well you can tell Clarissa was happy about that. “All animals need to play, in fact, it is innate in them to do so as they can easily get bored. Dogs, for example, are extremely playful and learn well when engaged in fun activities.” Clarissa stated, “During the approximately 8-weeks of training, these animals partake in many hours of fun time that makes them an even better companion for our Veterans. Many times, a Veteran can walk through the door after a hard day, and their pet is all they need to have a better day—a pet high five can go a long way.” Same goes for most of us I am sure!
Because Pet Treater cares: A big thanks to Pets for Vets®
As for Pets for Vets® and Clarissa Black and all the wonderful volunteers and people who donate to this worth-while cause, we at Pet Treater thank you all. And as for our Veterans, it is a true delight to see these relationships that comfort and heal take on a life of their own. When asked what still gets her excited the most about this process, Clarissa stated, “Hands down, the meet and greet when the match is made. The tail wags and the joy on the Veteran’s face gets me EVERY time and I never get tired of it!” That gets me too. Every time my fur baby opens his Pet Treater box and gets super excited, it warms my heart too!
For more information on this amazing organization please look for them at www.petsforvets.com and like them on FB @petsforvets.