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Importance of Service Dogs: A Veterans Experience

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We want to thank BetterCitiesForPets.com and AmericanHumane.org for this amazing video and everything they do for our animals. 

How Important Is a Service Dog?

For many veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress or traumatic brain injury as a result of their military service, a trained service dog is a life-saving means for recovery.

“He helps with my anxiety.” – Chris Ellis, U.S. Army Veteran

“He shows me how to relax, a lot!” – Cassandra Langr, U.S. Army

“He feels when I start to get agitated. He actually leans up my leg to comfort me.” – John Gerula, U.S. Marine Corps Veteran

These special animals help thousands of veterans and service men and women resume normal activities such as going to the store or getting on the airplane.

“Before I had Rex, I’d wait till 10 or 12 at night to go shopping because I did not want to be around that many people, or be in crowded spaces.” – Chris Ellis, U.S. Army Veteran

“I don’t like people coming up behind me. To have him behind me, helps keep that space.” – John Gerula, U.S. Marine Corps Veteran

“He has my back. I know he does and that relaxes me and gives me piece of mind.” – Cassandra Langr , U.S. Army Veteran

Unfortunately, many businesses don’t train their employees on how to handle a customer with a service dog. As a result, many veterans are turned away from retail stores or other businesses as they have a prohibition against pets.

“Rex is not a pet, he’s been through a lot of training to perform certain functions for me to make my life easier and more manageable when I am out in public.” – Chris Ellis, U.S. Army Veteran

That’s why it is crucial that business owners understand how the Americans with Disabilities Act affects service dogs and begin including the treatment of service dogs into their training.

“Businesses should incorporate service dog training into their model for the simple reason that we would not want to turn away any guest walking into our restaurant. Someone with a cane or someone with a wheelchair we would definitely welcome them in the same with a service dog someone with a disability, we want to treat all of our guests fairly.” – Joni Cole, Gray’s On Main Franklin TN

“Just because there is no visible wound or the person is not blind, doesn’t mean that they do not need a service animal. Rex has given me a new lease on life cause I am able to go out in public.” – Chris Ellis, U.S. Army Veteran

“Cause he’s always there at all times. He helps me out there cause he’s kind of like my second hand.” – John Gerula, U.S. Marine Corps Veteran

“I used to look at limits, and now I am not even looking at the limits. I know that anything is possible.” – Cassandra Langr, U.S. Army Veteran

To learn more how your business can become compliant with the ADA laws and for more resources to train your employees to visit BetterCitiesForPets.com or AmericanHumane.org

American Humane is committed to ensuring the safety, welfare, and well-being of animals. For more than a hundred years American Humane has been first in promoting the welfare and safety of animals and strengthening the bond between animals and people. “We are first to serve, wherever animals are in need of rescue, shelter, protection or security. Through our innovative leadership initiatives – from our “No Animals Were Harmed®” program in Hollywood to broad-based farm and conservation animal welfare certifications, to rapid response rescue and care across the country – American Humane sets the gold standard as the most visionary and effective animal welfare organization in the nation.”

Better Cities for Pets™  Pets make life better. They are our best friends, encourage healthy activity and offer unconditional love. That’s why we want to help more cities and communities make pets welcome. Mars Petcare US’s BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ program includes advocacy, education and giving back, and involves partnering with businesses, non-profits and government to help make life better for pets.