"Sharing can be a way of healing. Grief and loss can isolate,
anger even alienate. Shared with others, emotions unite
as we see we aren't alone. We realize others weep with us."
~Susan Wittig Albert

Through our writing, we walk out of the darkness into the light
together, one small step at a time, recording history, educating
America, and we are healing.
~CJ/Todd Dierdorff

Saturday, July 19, 2014

PTSD? Vets and Dogs Team Up

Can Veterans and Dogs Team Up To Help Each Other?

Please consider joining in a study of dog adoption for Veterans with PTSD, a collaborative project of the VA and the San Antonio Humane Society.

What is the Goal of the Study?

Many Veterans with PTSD have told us how much they have been helped by having a dog.  

We are interested in examining the potential benefits for Veterans with PTSD of adopting a pet dog from the San Antonio Humane Society.  

Our project, "A Study of Dog Adoption in Veterans with Postraumatic Stress Disorder," is funded by the Rehabilitation Research and Development Office of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Being in the study is entirely voluntary.  You are free not to participate and may withdraw from the study at any time.

Who is Eligible for the Study?
Veterans with PTSD who have had a dog previously, but have not had a pet in the past 12 months. There are also other requirements, which the staff of the study will be glad to discuss with you.
I would love a home
What Does the Study Consist of?
Half the Veterans will be randomly assigned, like the flipping of a coin, to adopt a dog immediately, while the other half will adopt a dog after three months. The adoption fee will be waived. 
Veterans will select the dog of their choice (some restrictions apply, such as animal ages and breeds), and participate in eight weeks of obedience training at no charge
There will be five visits to the Audie L. Murphy VA Hospital over the course of six months, each lasting 1-2 hours, 3 scheduled home visits, and 2 veterinary clinic visits, as well as brief phone calls between the visits. 
Veterans will be responsible for the costs of caring for their pet, except for veterinary care, which will be provided free of charge.
Will I be Paid for My Time?
Yes.  Veterans can receive up to $490 for completing the 6-month study.  Payments will be made regularly as parts of the study are completed.

I need someone to love
Will being in the Study Affect the Treatments I receive for my PTSD?
Not at all.  Veterans will continue to receive whatever treatments their mental health provider feels are most appropriate for their PTSD.
What are the Risks of the Study?
The chief risks are fatigue, or inconvenience, veterans might experience from participating in the study visits.
What Are The Benefits?
Veterans who participate may experience a decrease in their PTSD symptoms and an improvement in their quality of life. 
 Although we cannot guarantee any benefits, all participants will have the satisfaction of knowing that they are helping the many other Veterans with this disorder while giving a home to a homeless animal.
Am I Required to Participate?
No.  Being in the study is entirely voluntary.  You are free not to participate and may withdraw from the study at any time.
Aren't I adorable?
How Do I Learn More About the Study?
Please call:

Dr. Ana Allegretti
Study Coordinator
(210) 617-5300, Ext. 16079

Contributed to Memoirs From Nam By:
Tony Lobello
Public Affairs Officer
District 20, Texas VFW

***Thank you, Tony!  This is such a worthwhile study and I am proud to do what I can to get the word out there. ~a big hug, CJ

“I am only one, but I am one. I can't do everything, but I can do something. The something I ought to do, I can do, and by the grace of God, I will.” ~Everett Hale

Do you have an opinion, or a comment, you would like to share about this post? Click on the comment button.


  1. Got 2 boston terriers ,helps ! PS 1 named sht head other girley HA!

    Later Dee

    1. If it helps it stays. Glad to hear it does!

  2. Thank you CJ!
    On behalf of all current veterans and future veterans who benefit from this study,
    THANK YOU! Your own attention, your bringing other's attention to and your website for veterans, and those connected to them, are all very much appreciated.

    1. All of you are most sincerely welcome, Tony. I'm happy to help get the word out there -- I think it's an excellent program and I hope the post brings many veterans to their door!

      My best wishes to Dr. Allegretti for her study!


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