North CarolinaAcademy of Small Animal Medicine

N.C.'s First Online Academy of Small Animal Medicine


America's VetDogs November 8, 2009

For Immediate Release: Jeff Bressler 631-930-9051 (office) 516-840-7011 (cell)
Contact: Bill Krol 631.930.9034 (office) 631-780-2457 (cell)
SMITHTOWN, NY – For the first time in the history of the United States Army, therapy dogs, provided by America’s VetDogs, will be deployed to Iraq to help relieve combat stress of soldiers in the field. Two black Labrador Retrievers will work with a multidisciplinary team of Army professionals to address mental health issues when they arise in theater.
Says Major Stacie Caswell, commander of the 85th Medical Detachment, “Dogs have been the unsung heroes of our war efforts. Bringing therapy dogs into Iraq will take dogs to the next level on the battlefield. The therapy dogs will be another method that our Combat Stress teams can use to break down mental health stigma – to assist soldiers so that when they go home ‘Iraq is not on their backs.’”
Anecdotal evidence has existed for years that pets provide positive health benefits, i.e., blood pressure and stress reduction, but more recently, scientific studies have been conducted to determine the validity of pet therapy.
Handlers from the 85th Medical Detachment are currently on orders in Smithtown, N.Y. working with VetDogs for training before returning to Iraq. Budge and Boe will provide emotional comfort through physical interactions such as playing fetch or simple petting. America’s VetDogs is assured that Boe and Budge will be safe.
On Thursday, December 13, 2007 at 11:30 a.m., there will be a formal presentation ceremony and press conference at VetDogs headquarters on the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind campus.
America’s VetDogs is honored to make the gift of these special canines to the Army’s 85th Medical Detachment, and proud to be called to serve the valiant men and women who serve our country.
America’s VetDogs, a subsidiary of the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind, offers guide and service dogs to veterans of all eras. A major component of the program is to provide service dogs to members of the military recently wounded in combat.
371 East Jericho Turnpike, Smithtown, NY 11787␣866-VETDOGS␣

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