Campaign helps pair veterans living with PTSD with service dogs

(WZAW) -- September is National Service Dogs Awareness Month.

Veteran and his service dog (WZAW photo)

Each year, many of our nation's military veterans return home and begin their readjustment into civilian life. But for many, this change brings symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
That's where service dogs come in, to make a difference.

National Radio host and American Idol mentor, Bobby Bones, joined NewsChannel 7 at 4 on Thursday to talk about a campaign that will help get veterans with PTSD, a service dog..

"They say 30% of veterans, that we know of, come back with PTSD, and so these service dogs help in many, many ways" Bones said.

Yet only about 40 percent of those individuals ever seek help, according to the National Institute of Health. For many veterans a service dog can be life changing, offering countless benefits that help them combat their symptoms of PTSD. Service dogs can also be instrumental in re-building and uniting families after their veterans come home from serving our country.

But, they can be quite costly.

"I had no idea these dogs are like $15,000 - $20,000 each for a dog, because they got to be trained so much," Bones explained.

Dog Chow’s “Service Dog Salute” campaign started at the beginning of the month. For every purchase of a specially marked bag of Dog Chow through November1, the brand will make a donation up to $100,000 to Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) and their Pets and Vets program to help pair veterans with service dogs.

For more information, visit DogChow.com/service