Shelter Dogs Change the Lives of Army Vets

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Through a mutual understanding of things like happiness, fear and empathy, dogs and their caretakers are able to form a bond the way one would with a family member or friend. And, it was a trip to a local Veterans Affairs Hospital with her dog Bear that inspired Clarissa Black to start the nonprofit organization Pets for Vets. “You could almost feel this weight being lifted off of them, that sort of sigh and that breath, and you could see their smiles,” said Black.

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Clarissa Black with one of the rescue dogs

Clarissa’s background in studying the interactions between humans and animals has helped her find success. The purpose of Pets for Vets is to pair veterans — especially those struggling with PTSD, traumatic brain injury, anxiety and depression — with shelter dogs around the country. The idea has transformed into a nationwide non-profit that works carefully to pair each veteran with the right rescue dog.

For someone like Casey, a young Navy vet struggling with PTSD, his relationship with his rescue dog Jazzy changed his life.

“Without Jazzy, before her, my life was pretty sketchy. But now, I’m pretty social. I’m not afraid of that many things anymore. The dog did it,” said Casey. “It makes me feel better about myself that I’m able to take care of her.”

With chapters across the country, it’s incredible to watch the amazing second chances Pets for Vets are giving to both our incredible heroes and rescue dogs.

For more information on Pets for Vets, please visit

Watch my complete piece on Yahoo! News

Written by

Founder, Katie Couric Media. Newscaster: Wake-Up Call. Podcaster: Next Question. Doc filmmaker. @SU2C founder.

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