How Dogs Provide Vital Help to Veterans

Men’s Health Network (MHN) has a long history of supporting the physical and mental health needs of our veteran populations. In fact, MHN – in collaboration with the Congressional Men’s Health Caucus – hosted a briefing on “Veterans and Active Military: Mental Health and Suicide Issues,” which had the objective of highlighting troubling issues that affect post-war veterans. Among these issues were the unusually high rate of suicide among our nation’s veterans, lack of adequate mental health resources, and highlighting room for improvement in our current system.

More than 20 veterans and active-duty military service members commit suicide every day in the United States. MHN applauds those that are working to address this tragedy and provide our military men and women the mental health care they need to lead vigorous, productive, and fruitful lives. We further recognize organization efforts that seek to assist in this advancement.

One such organization is Canines Providing Assistance to Wounded Warriors® (C-P.A.W.W. ®), which seeks to provide crucial support to our veteran population. C-P.A.W.W. offers the palliative effects of animal-assisted interventions, and clearly demonstrates the lifesaving impact canines can have on the lives of veterans and their families. Organizations such as this one are vital to ensuring that our veterans – who have given so much to this country – are offered the physical, emotional, and mental healthcare they deserve.

The effects of the C-P.A.W.W. initiative are apparent, with furry friends providing much needed assistance to veterans across the United States. Lyndon Villone, a U.S marine veteran and consultant for C-P.A.W.W. describes his experience with his assistance dog.

“My own assistance dog, Ice, was trained to brace my vertigo spells and apply deep-pressure touch to mitigate my post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms,” remarked Villone. He further elaborated on the importance of the program, claiming that “My experience with Ice helped me to recognize the depth of my passion for the human-animal bond and the prominent role that they play in the lives of veterans across America.”

Cheryl Krause-Parello and Lyndon Villone, with his service dog Ice
Alex Dolce, Florida Atlantic University

This is one of many ways that organizations across the United States seek to improve the lives of our veterans who have fought so bravely before us. Links are available below that provide more information on C-P.A.W.W., and the services that they provide to veterans. 



Savanna Maloney and Izaiah Brown of Men’s Health Network contributed to this article.

Image by skeeze from Pixabay

Anne Holloway

View posts by Anne Holloway
Anne Holloway is an experienced government relations executive with a demonstrated history of working successfully in legislative and regulatory areas of the consumer goods industry. Anne is skilled in public affairs, grassroots organizing, event planning and government. She has exceptional writing and communication skills with a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) focused on writing from Denison University. A former Vice President of Government Affairs with a trade association, Anne also worked as a Legislative Director for a Member of Congress. Creator of a food blog featuring a variety of culinary musings, Anne authored two books, View from a Train and Fear of Heights.

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