Rescue Dogs Help Heal Soldiers
I want to thank Bella for barking to me about a wonderful program the military and the Humane Society are offering to wounded soldiers to help them heal.
The Humane Societys Dog Tags program helps soldiers recovering at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. They sign up to help the shelter dogs learn to behave, when the soldiers get out of the hospital they know how to care for and train the dogs. The dogs learn better behavior, making them more adoptable. In my book that's a win-win.
Here are the details from Army.com.
The program began simply enough more than a year ago. The shelter is located just across the street from the Walter Reed campus. Soldiers out walking would come across shelter staff members walking the dogs. They would stop and pet the dogs and seemed to enjoy getting to know them. Officials at the shelter had the idea to hook the two together through a training program for the troops and the dogs.
We want the program to be educational so that if there are service members in the program that want to potentially pursue this as a career, theyre getting as much information as possible and as much hands-on time as possible with the dogs, Foley said. We also want it to be recreational, too, for people who just love animals and like spending time with the dogs.
The skills the dogs learn in the classes translate to better placement opportunities, Foley said. The program has far expanded the amount of training the shelters dogs received previously.
This is another way our dogs are outside of their kennels being talked to and touched and interacting with people, she said. Thats extremely beneficial to reduce the stress levels of the animals in our kennels, and at the same time, it makes the animals far more successful in their new homes if they come into it with some basic obedience training.
But for all of the good it is for the dogs, it is equally beneficial for the recovering troops, Foley said.
The article shares a wonderful story about Army Captain Lawrence Minnis and Ebony, a pit bull, who he ended up adopting. You can read how they saved each other on Army.com.