Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

National nonprofit Petco Love invests in Shelter to Soldier to save and improve the lives of pets and US veterans in Southern California

Shelter to Soldier (STS) has received a $25,750 investment from national nonprofit Petco Love for the lifesaving work that STS conducts on an ongoing basis for shelter dogs and US veterans in need of support in Southern California, according to a news release. This year, Petco Love recognized STS for its Canine Ambassadors (therapy) dog team, which greeted guests in Gallagher Square at every San Diego Padres Sunday home game throughout the baseball season. This grant is in addition to a $7,500 Helping Heroes lifesaving investment STS received this December from Petco Love in recognition of the programs’ animal welfare impact and commitment to US veterans. The Petco Love Helping Heroes lifesaving investment powers the work of an organization that transforms animals into heroes helping others.

Petco Love is a national nonprofit leading change for pets by harnessing the power of love to make communities and pet families closer, stronger, and healthier. Since its founding in 1999, Petco Love has invested $330 million in adoption and other lifesaving efforts. And Petco Love helps find loving homes for pets in partnership with Petco and more than 4,000 organizations — like STS — across North America, with 6.5 million pets adopted and counting.

“Our investment in Shelter to Soldier is part of more than $15 million in investments recently announced by Petco Love to power local organizations across the country as part of our commitment to create a future in which no pet is unnecessarily euthanized,” said Susanne Kogut, president of Petco Love, in the news release. “Our local investments are only part of our strategy to empower animal lovers to drive lifesaving change right alongside us. We recently celebrated the one-year launch anniversary of Petco Love Lost, a national lost and found database that uses pet image technology to simplify the search for lost pets.”

The nonprofit mission of Shelter to Soldier (STS) is to adopt dogs from local shelters and rescue organizations, and train them to become psychiatric service dogs for post-9/11 veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS), Traumatic Brain Injury ( TBI) and/or Military Sexual Trauma (MST). The program also provides emotional support animals to active military and veterans, and deploys their STS Canine Ambassadors therapy dog ​​team to provide visits of love and support to local military, veterans and their families. Everyday, an average of 20 US veterans commit suicide and approximately 1,800 dogs are euthanized. The STS program is committed to their efforts in “Saving Lives, Two at a Time.”

Kyrié Bloem, STS vice president said in the news release, “We’re extremely grateful to Petco Love for their continued support in helping our US veterans and rescue dogs benefit from our services, which support the healing process for the veteran and provide a home and purpose for the trained service dog. Through our programs, veteran recipients are supported with an additional healing modality with post-military trauma, while the dogs we rescue and train learn how to console and comfort our veterans in tasks specifically aimed and customized to each recipient. We’re particularly proud of our newer STS Canine Ambassador therapy dog ​​team that extends our services to a much broader reach of military, veterans and their families.

“Our team has greeted guests in Gallagher Square for every Sunday Padres home game throughout the baseball season, including hundreds of active-duty military, veterans, and their families. The feedback and positivity generated through these interactions with our STS Canine Ambassadors/Padres “Paw Squad” and the community is the greatest gift of all, and the subsequent financial contributions from Petco Love help us continue that momentum, broaden our reach, and expand our impact for shelter dogs and US veterans in need.”

Visit sheltertosoldier.org and petcolove.org for more information.

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