Heroes and Hounds

Dogs and war veterans help each other adjust.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Dogs and war veterans, helping each other adjust. (Published Wednesday, Mar 23, 2011)

     Both were struggling to find their way in a society that couldn't find a place for them. But through Operation Heroes, they have each other.

    United States veterans suffering from brain injuries or post-traumatic stress disorder and dogs who were on "doggy death row" and considered unadoptable have found comfort in one another.

    Heroes and Hounds

    [LA] Heroes and Hounds
    Dogs and war veterans, helping each other adjust. (Published Wednesday, Mar 23, 2011)

    "The dogs are from the streets, just like the men and women we work with," said Rachel Feldstein of New Directions, a veteran advocate group that helps aid the project.

    "He's a lover, he's just so great," said veteran Sonny Patrick of her dog, Sarge. Patrick struggled with alcohol and homelessness after serving in the Marines, and says veterans haven't always been taken care of after returning home.

    Feldstein says veterans participating in Operation Heroes report a 35 percent increase in life satisfaction. Meanwhile, the dogs are saved from being euthanized.

    "It's remarkable to see these guys helping the dogs so much, and in return, the dogs just love them to pieces," said Tamara Geller of Operation Hero.