Monday, February 15, 2010

Pets For Vets Group gives veterans, homeless pets a second chance

Group gives veterans, homeless pets a second chance
By Sarah Aarthun, CNN

Pets for Vets matches homeless pets with veterans suffering from PTSD or other ailments

Pets for Vets goal: Help veterans do normal daily activities again

Founder: "Pets for Vets is that way to say thank you" to those who served

Research shows companion animals may lower owner's blood pressure, heart rate

Sgt. Doraliza Velez-Collazo used to sleep with the lights on, haunted by nightmares since suffering a traumatic brain injury in Iraq. Severe depression kept her inside her small rented room in Southern California most days.

But just before the holidays, a 10-pound ball of fur came into her life and quickly began to turn it around.

Lupita, a 3-year-old Chihuahua that had been abandoned at a Los Angeles County shelter, was placed with Velez-Collazo with the help of Pets for Vets, a nonprofit organization.

"I used to not get out of the house at all," said Velez-Collazo, 37, whose 12 years as an Army combat battlefield nurse included deployments to Iraq and Kuwait. "Now I have to take her out. I get out of bed and put on some clothes."
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Group gives veterans homeless pets a second chance

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