War vets, shelter dogs heal together in program
The experience inspired Sharpe, who lives in Washington’s Virginia suburbs, to start Companions For Heroes, a group that pairs veterans with homeless pets by arranging adoptions of shelter animals. It has made two or three matches a week since its start in October.
One of the goals of Companions For Heroes is to raise awareness about post-traumatic stress disorder. Sharpe says that while a few groups provide veterans with service dogs, many PTSD and traumatic brain injury patients do not qualify for these programs. Even when they do, because of the stigma still attached to psychological problems, they may hesitate to apply.