Posted: May 31, 2012, 12 p.m. EDT
Dog Bless You, a non-profit organization created to champion the selfless acts of dogs and celebrate the unique role they play in improving the human condition, issued a challenge grant today that will pair service and companion dogs with military veterans in need.
The challenge grant, dubbed Spirit of '76, aims to provide people an easy and free way to show support to servicemen and women, while raising awareness about the healing role dogs play in the lives of those affected by war.
From now until July 4th, Dog Bless You will donate a service or companion dog to an American veteran in need for every 1,000 followers to its Facebook, Pinterest or Tumblr pages. From PTSD to those with life changing injuries, the organization will feature new pictures, videos and stories of war veterans and their dogs every day, and work with dozens of service dog organizations to foster discussions aimed at educating and inspiring.
Since its founding 2011, Dog Bless You has used challenge grants to brings search and rescue dogs to locations ravaged by disasters, pair guide dogs with the blind, and bring more than 40 service dogs to veterans with PTSD. This year's challenge grant, valued at up to $ 1 million, will be the biggest initiative in the organization’s history.
"Dogs are the guardian angels of the human soul, and few people need or deserve them more than those who have served our country," says founder Charlie Annenberg Weingarten. "If we entrust dogs to help critical missions on the fields of war, we should entrust dogs to help take care of our men and women at home."
Participating organizations include Pets to Vets, Soldier's Best Friend, Puppies Behind Bars, Freedom Service Dogs, Paws for Purple Hearts, Paws and Stripes, Patriot PAWS, and ECAD, with more to be added during the course of the campaign.
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