WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, December 22, 2021 — American Humane, the country’s first national humane organization, today announced Safeway Foundation has awarded a $25,000 grant in support of American Humane’s Pups4Patriots™ program, an initiative that finds dogs in need of forever homes and trains them to be lifesaving service dogs for veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress and Traumatic Brain Injury.
“The invisible wounds of war, including Post-Traumatic Stress and Traumatic Brain Injury, can cause debilitating symptoms in veterans, leading to depression, social isolation and, far too often, suicide,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane. “For many brave members of our nation’s armed forces, coming home as a civilian is only the beginning of another daunting battle. Service dogs are an invaluable asset to veterans with trauma, and we are so grateful to Safeway Foundation for its support, helping us save more lives at both ends of the leash.”
Up to one in five veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan are diagnosed with PTS and, according to a 2016 report from the Department of Veterans Affairs, an average of 20 veterans commit suicide each day. Research shows that specially trained PTS service dogs can reduce stress and anxiety levels, mitigate depression, ease social reintegration, provide comfort and restore confidence in affected veterans. However, there are many obstacles standing in the way of veterans in need of service dogs including long waiting lists and exorbitant costs, reaching upwards of $30,000 per service dog.
“Our veterans’ sacrifices and service should never be forgotten,” said Jim Perkins, President, Safeway Mid-Atlantic Division. “Safeway Foundation and our local Safeway stores thank our customers for generously supporting our local veterans. We are proud to help support their transition back into civilian life.”
Service dogs change lives, and American Humane is committed to harnessing the healing powers of the human-animal bond to help our nation’s heroes. The Pups4Patriots™ program provides service dogs to veterans in need, at no cost to the veteran.
“In 2021 alone, 18 veteran and service dog pairs graduated from our Pups4Patriots™ program,” said Dr. Ganzert. “That’s 36 lives who were changed for the better. We hope all of this year’s graduates will enjoy the holiday season, with their new best friend by their side.”
About American Humane
American Humane is the country’s first national humane organization. Founded in 1877, American Humane is committed to ensuring the safety, welfare and well-being of animals, and our leadership programs are first to serve in promoting and nurturing the bonds between animals and people. For more information or to support our work, please visit www.americanhumane.org and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
About Safeway and Safeway Foundation
Safeway in the Mid-Atlantic Division is part of Albertsons Companies (NYSE: ACI). Locally great and nationally strong, Albertsons Cos. is a leading food and drug retailer in the United States. The Mid-Atlantic Division operates Safeway stores in Maryland, Virginia, the District of Columbia, and Delaware. Safeway is committed to helping people live better lives by making a meaningful difference, neighborhood by neighborhood. During 2020, Safeway and Safeway Foundation locally donated more than $5.1 million in food and financial support to help people in the areas of hunger relief, education, cancer research and treatment, programs for people with disabilities, and veterans. For more information, visit www.safeway.com and www.safewayfoundation.org.