Paws and Stripes
Saving Lives - Two at a Time
Paws and Stripes has worked in New Mexico for over a decade to provide not only service dogs to veterans living with the effects of trauma from their service, but also ongoing support, education, and mental health assistance. With real limitations to consistent care at the VA, many veterans spend years seeking reliable and accessible resources might help them regain their lives, or even just to regain some semblance of hope.
The suicide epidemic among our military veterans is undeniable. Today we still see an average of 20 veterans die by suicide each day, 1.5 times that of civilian suicide rates. New Mexico itself registers as the highest state in the nation for suicidal deaths. Veterans come to Paws and Stripes “at the end of their rope,” barely holding on to their lives. With a sexual assault occurring in the military every half hour, many of the men and women seeking help are also victims living with military sexual trauma.
Through the healing power of dogs, veterans that have completed programs with Paws and Stripes have recorded significant improvements in their quality of life. Furthermore, the dogs that are paired with them are taken primarily from local shelters and rescues – quite literally saving two lives at a time.
To learn more about Paws and Stripes, or hear some of the stories from veteran graduates, visit www.PawsandStripes.org. Questions: contact Lindsey Kay, who is the Founder and Director of Paws and Stripes and our Caucus Liaison, at (505) 918-7966.
As John, one of our graduates shared: “If I hadn’t found Paws and Stripes, I would very likely not be here.”