Gayle Anderson was live in San Pedro with an organization known as Dog Bless You, created and led by filmmaker, Trustee of The Annenberg Foundation and founder of explore.org, Charles Annenberg Weingarten, who is providing up to 100 service dogs to returning soldiers who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Put together in partnership with (IAVA) Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, along with a variety of veteran and service dog organizations, the Dog Bless USA challenge grant aims to spread awareness about the healing role dogs can play in the lives of those suffering from PTSD while giving people a chance to participate.
The initiative will provide people with an easy way to show support, and provide users with a steady stream of American dog-themed content ranging from personal stories gathered from soldiers to video footage of dogs around the country. Organizers aren't just asking for donations, but to show support by "liking" the Dog Bless You Page, uploading patriotic photos and videos, commenting and sharing personal dog-related stories. For every 5,000 "likes" the Dog Bless You Facebook community page receives, Explore.org will donate a service dog to a recent war veteran, up to 100 dogs or $500,000.
"Doctors, psychologists, and certainly veterans will all attest to the incredible benefits dogs bring to those suffering from the impact of war," said Paul Rieckhoff, Executive Director and Founder of IAVA, "and I'm sure during the course of this campaign, we'll see and hear some amazing stories from our brave service people whose dogs have been a prime source of salvation."
Dog Bless You is a place where dog owners and advocates share pictures, videos and personal stories while rallying around the role of dogs that are involved in important causes. Go to Facebook.com/exploredogs to participate.
"Dogs are serving this country unlike any other animal - from the battlefields of war, to the front lines of search and rescue, to the ranks of police and fire forces across this country, to the everyday person in need of a companion," said Weingarten. "This campaign is to channel the energy of the dog community into the gift of unconditional love and healing that only a canine can provide. We want to raise awareness about the amazing role dogs can play in the lives of veterans and people who suffer from emotional and psychological damage - while giving everyone a chance to participate through a zero-cost contribution," said Weingarten. "The 'like' button is akin to putting your name on a card to those soldiers," he continued "We're excited to foster a discussion among veterans and dog lovers during the campaign."
For more information, contact:
Dog Bless You
424 238 5780
Other organizations working with DOG BLESS YOU are:
Pets for Vets
San Francisco, CA