Purina Dog Chow unveils “Even Heroes Need Heroes” to highlight the life-changing benefits service dogs can provide to veterans experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder
In honour of Service Dog Awareness Month this September and its fourth annual Service Dog Salute campaign, Purina Dog Chow is releasing a new documentary short film titled “Even Heroes Need Heroes” to highlight the life-changing benefits service dogs can provide to veterans experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
In partnership with service dog organization Got Your Six Support Dogs and radio and TV personality Bobby Bones, the pet brand spent the last year following three veterans on their unique journeys of hope and healing alongside a PTSD service dog.
The new documentary, viewable at DogChow.com/service, features veteran and PTSD service dog pairs Shannon and Pepper, Tishawna and Archie, and Andy and Thanos, as they learn how to navigate post-service challenges such as night terrors, emotional detachment and hypervigilance.
“I’ve had the honour of meeting veterans impacted by PTSD over the course of the last three years working with Dog Chow,” said Bones, who is also a producer on the documentary. “Being able to witness first-hand how service dogs help them move towards better physical and mental health through this documentary is absolutely inspiring and something I’m happy to be a part of again.”
Through the Service Dog Salute campaign, Dog Chow is on a mission to help pair more veterans with lifesaving PTSD service dogs by continuing to help support service dog organisations, including Got Your Six Support Dogs in Collinsville, IL and Tony LaRussa’s Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) in Walnut Creek, CA, donating US$850K (£614K) since the initiative began in 2018.
In addition to donating funds, Dog Chow has also worked with members of Congress on federal legislation supporting veterans with PTSD. Passed with broad bipartisan support in 2021, the PAWS for Veterans Therapy Act will create a pilot program in the VA to train and connect service dogs to veterans with PTSD.
“Over three million military veterans suffer from PTSD, and service dogs are proven to reduce the severity of PTSD symptoms and suicidal behaviours. Unfortunately, less than 1% of those in need of a service dog is able to get one each year,” said Steve Degnan, Chief Human Resources Officer for Nestlé Purina North America and also a veteran. “We’re on a mission to change that, and Dog Chow continues to offer our support and funding to help connect veterans in need with specially trained service dogs.”