Enhancing the human-animal bond has always been an important piece to ARF’s mission: People Rescuing Animals … Animals Rescuing People®.

-Elena Bicker, ARF Executive Director

The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) recently shared a study examining the link between companion animals and their guardians during the pandemic. According to the report, “despite being physically isolated from friends, family, or colleagues, having a pet meant never truly being alone. Companion animals not only helped to take their guardians’ minds off negative thoughts associated with the pandemic, but also provided a much-needed source of purpose.”

We’ve seen this firsthand. When working with Veterans in our Pets and Vets program, who are often at greater risk when isolated, we’ve seen the therapeutic and practical benefits of emotional support animals and service dogs.

From free adoptions and wellness clinics for Veterans’ pets, to our psychiatric service dog training program, ARF’s Pets and Vets program is Saving Both Ends of the Leash®. We believe that no Veteran should be without the benefits of a companion, emotional support animal, or service dog if they want one.

That’s one reason we were thrilled when the PAWS for Veterans Therapy Act was signed. This legislation acknowledges the therapeutic benefits psychiatric service dogs have for veterans with PTSD. More about the new pilot program is highlighted in the story on the facing page, but this is a huge step forward in providing the mental health benefits of animal companionship that we see at ARF every day.

Pippa, the adorable dog gracing the cover, and her Veteran, Rob, were matched in October and started their training just before Veterans Day in ARF’s brand new, purpose-built Engelstad Pets and Vets Center. More about Pippa and Rob’s story on page four.

Pippa and Rob are training with Tammy Quirin, our new Pets and Vets National Program Director. Her team leadership and canine training experience includes serving 22 years with the U.S. Army as a K-9 handler, trainer, instructor, certification authority, and as the Department of the Army Military Working Dog Program Manager. Tammy also spent more than 13 years with the Department of Homeland Security as a Field Canine Coordinator and Regional Canine Training Instructor. We’re looking forward to many exciting next steps for Pets and Vets and serving more Veterans.

In This Edition

  • Pippa Finds Her Calling as a Service Dog
  • ARF by the Numbers
  • Queenie’s Courage in the Dark
  • P.A.W.S. Act Signed into Law
  • Emergency Rescue Brings 100 Animals to the Bay Area
  • Grover Gets His Groove Back
  • Return of Puppy Socials
  • Rollover Your IRA
  • One Step at a Time: Mel’s Recovery
  • Saving Lives Via Assistance Programs
  • Volunteer Spotlight
  • Holiday Wish List
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