Pets To Vets (P2V) is an organization that facilitates healing and support for 10 to 12 million veterans suffering from the psychological damage of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and provides homes for the four to five million animals that would otherwise be euthanized every year for lack of space in animal shelters. Canine and man share a meaningful journey that begins for both with a single loving step.
Man and animal support each other with their unspoken bond, and both are our nation’s heroes. For disabled vets, the dogs are their legs in many activities and their warm presence and companionship goes above and beyond any goodness that can be calculated in numbers.
Founder of Pets To Vets, David Sharpe, is a brave veteran who while deployed in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan endured several life-threatening incidents that cumulated in a diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). He suffered from insomnia, cold sweats, and random and sometimes violent outbursts of temper. But that all changed in 2002 when Cheyenne, a little pit bull puppy, licked her way into his life and his heart.
She came just in time too. About six months after she had been with Dave, he was still feeling terribly alone and desperate. One terrible day, he put a gun in his mouth, took a deep breath and shut his eyes. And then, something cool licked his ear and he couldn’t pull the trigger. Cheyenne saved his life with her love and soon after, Dave got the idea to match suffering soldiers with animals from the pound.
Pets to Vets is a nonprofit group that seeks to link service members and first responders with shelter animals and to help them with related expenses and training. So far, they’ve matched 47 animals to vets, many of them former patients at Walter Reed Army Hospital.
Here’s to Pets to Vets!