In honor of Service Dog Awareness Month, Purina Dog Chow is joining forces with actor and singer Anthony Ramos to celebrate the finalists of this year's Dog Chow Visible Impact Award, which recognizes the remarkable impact service dogs have on the lives of military veterans experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Ongoing research shows most veterans with trained service dogs show lower symptoms of PTSD and reduced depression compared to more traditional clinical care for PTSD alone.
From now through October 13, 2023, dog lovers are invited to help select the 2023 Visible Impact Award winner by voting on the selected finalists at DogChow.com/service. For every vote, Dog Chow will donate $5 to the Association of Service Dog Providers for Military Veterans (ASDPMV), up to $75,000, to help train more PTSD service dogs. The winning service dog's veteran will receive a $10,000 cash prize and $25,000 for the organization that trained the service dog.
"Partnering with Dog Chow for this year's Service Dog Salute program is a privilege beyond words. The unwavering loyalty and support that service dogs provide to our military veterans is nothing short of remarkable," said Ramos. "I am honored to help shine a light on the powerful impact service dogs have on the lives of those who served our country."
Visible Impact Award Finalists This year's Visible Impact Award Finalists include:
- Huey/Operation Freedom Paws–helps U.S. Army veteran Ramon by detecting migraines and dizzy spells before they happen
- Eagle/K9s for Warriors–helps U.S. Navy veteran Joe by providing standing pressure therapy "hugs" to reduce anxiety and create a sense of security
- Phelan/Tails of Valor, Paws of Honor–helps stop U.S. Army veteran Harold's night terrors and can detect and de-escalate when Harold begins to feel anxious or angry
- Maverick/K9 Partners for Patriots–helps U.S. Air Force veteran Wendy by jumping on her lap when she starts to get anxious and helps prevent panic episodes
- Bobby/Pawsitive Teams–helps U.S. Navy veteran Sondra mitigate her anxiety and hyper vigilance by walking lightly in front of her and scanning the environment to ease Sondra's mind
A PTSD service dog's Impact
Roughly 3.5 million military veterans suffer from PTSD, and while service dogs have been demonstrated to reduce the severity of PTSD, only 1% of those in need who seek a service dog receive one each year. Dog Chow has been on a mission to help, donating more than $1MM to service dog organizations since the start of the Service Dog Salute in 2018. These donations help support the care and training of more service dogs for veterans with PTSD at no cost to the veterans.
To vote for the Visible Impact Award winner and for more information about Dog Chow's support of our nation's veterans, visit DogChow.com/service.