Service Dogs for Veterans

Service Dogs for Veterans

From Ansley Elledge

I have recently been made aware of the numerous struggles that our veterans face everyday. Often times, when we feel helpless, a service dog is the only thing that can make the transition into normal life easier.

Support this campaign

Subscribe to follow campaign updates!

Recent Updates

Update #6

almost 3 years ago

Hi Everybody!
Please take five minutes out of your busy days to read my message and visit the website to read more about the personal story of Jason and Axel to find out how you can give your thanks back to our Vets.

These past few weeks have seen a lull in donations for the estimated 500,000 veterans that currently suffer from PTSD. These brave men and women protect us and give us the everyday rights that we often take for granted, yet most are unwilling to give up a week of coffee, one nail appointment or even a trip to the movies to show their thanks.The fact is that approximately 22 of these veterans commit suicide everyday because of the lack of help and care that they are currently receiving. One way to help these soldiers is to recognize their struggle with PTSD, a simple thing that Veterans Affairs Program does not account for or recognize as a disability resulting from war, and do as much as we possibly can to transition them back into normal lives. Like Army Veteran Daniel Somers said, "I am left with basically nothing. Too trapped in war to be at peace, too damaged to be at war", these courageous warriors return home feeling like they are alone, but with our help we can pair them with service dogs who will be their something. These dogs are specially trained to make PTSD victims feel comfortable and be functional in society. They can bring their handlers out of flashbacks, help adjust serotonin levels, lower blood pressure, help with episodes of depression, provide companionship, prevent people from crowding around their handler, and they always have their handler's six (back) to alert their handler when anyone comes up behind them. These dogs are incredible creatures who often make the difference between a veteran who survives at home and one who doesn't. Together we can fight the war for those at home who have fought for us elsewhere. Take a minute to reflect on all of the privileges that you take for granted like taking your children to the park, going out to restaurants for dinner, getting a good night's sleep, going to the grocery store and even being able to watch TV with your family on a Friday night, and try to imagine being deprived of all of these privileges because no one is willing to help you get back on your feet.
Please dig deep and consider giving back to the countless veterans who have spent their lives protecting yours and remember to share this message with your friends and family to help us reach the goal of pairing one service dog with one veteran in need.
Thank you for your ongoing support for my senior project,
Ansley Elledge

More Info

Everyday America loses TWENTY TWO of its veterans to suicide. The struggle that these returning vets face everyday is unfathomable, and many times we feel helpless in our struggle to support them. Service dogs are often the critical lifeline that these heroes need to transition back into a normal life. This year I chose to offer my thanks to our service men and women by dedicating my senior project to raising awareness and funds to foster the pairing of  a service dog with a veteran in need. I have partnered with the Military Affairs Program at American Humane, the country’s first national humane organization, which will be the beneficiary of these efforts. My goal is to raise enough to sponsor the first dog of their budding program. 

My inspiration for this project comes from the service dog of the year in 2015, Axel, and his warrior, Jason Haag, and I would like to share their impressive journey with you. Captain Jason Haag had 13 years of experience in the United States Marine Corps, including two tours in Iraq, conducting frontline operations during Operation Iraqi Freedom, as well as Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

In 2003 Captain Haag was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury. He lived in the basement of his family home and suffered with anxiety, nightmares and hyper-vigilance on a daily basis. He eventually relied on alcohol and up to 32 pain medications just to make it through the day. Desperate and afraid for his life, Captain Haag reached out to a nonprofit service dog group for help. It was through them he met Axel, his service dog, specializing in needs specific to post-traumatic stress.

“Axel hit the reset button for me and gave me the desire to stop using prescription medications,” said Captain Haag. “In time, I began picking up my kids from the bus stop, attending school plays and functions, and now am able to fully enjoy the family time I had avoided before. Axel is on guard all day, every day, performing his duties by pulling me back into reality and physically calming me during severe panic attacks.” Axel is a battle buddy to Captain Haag, but a hero to the entire Haag family.

I appreciate you joining with me in our motion to Stop22 and pair service dogs with our heroes in need. I will be running this campaign through February 14th so that we can spread our love, support and immense gratitude to our veterans. Together we can make a difference.

Campaign Wall

Join the Conversation

Sign in with your Facebook account or

Ansley Elledge posted a new update:
almost 3 years ago

Update #6

Hi Everybody!
Please take five minutes out of your busy days to read my message and visit the website to read more about the personal story of Jason and Axel to find out how you can give your thanks back to our Vets.

These past few weeks have seen a lull in donations for the estimated 500,000 veterans that currently suffer from PTSD. These brave men and women protect us and give us the everyday rights that we often take for granted, yet most are unwilling to give up a week of coffee, one nail appointment or even a trip to the movies to show their thanks.The fact is that approximately 22 of these veterans commit suicide everyday because of the lack of help and care that they are currently receiving. One way to help these soldiers is to recognize their struggle with PTSD, a simple thing that Veterans Affairs Program does not account for or recognize as a disability resulting from war, and do as much as we possibly can to transition them back into normal lives. Like Army Veteran Daniel Somers said, "I am left with basically nothing. Too trapped in war to be at peace, too damaged to be at war", these courageous warriors return home feeling like they are alone, but with our help we can pair them with service dogs who will be their something. These dogs are specially trained to make PTSD victims feel comfortable and be functional in society. They can bring their handlers out of flashbacks, help adjust serotonin levels, lower blood pressure, help with episodes of depression, provide companionship, prevent people from crowding around their handler, and they always have their handler's six (back) to alert their handler when anyone comes up behind them. These dogs are incredible creatures who often make the difference between a veteran who survives at home and one who doesn't. Together we can fight the war for those at home who have fought for us elsewhere. Take a minute to reflect on all of the privileges that you take for granted like taking your children to the park, going out to restaurants for dinner, getting a good night's sleep, going to the grocery store and even being able to watch TV with your family on a Friday night, and try to imagine being deprived of all of these privileges because no one is willing to help you get back on your feet.
Please dig deep and consider giving back to the countless veterans who have spent their lives protecting yours and remember to share this message with your friends and family to help us reach the goal of pairing one service dog with one veteran in need.
Thank you for your ongoing support for my senior project,
Ansley Elledge

Join the Conversation

Sign in with your Facebook account or

Ansley Elledge posted a new update:
almost 3 years ago

Update #5

During this season of giving, remember to think of your veterans who haven't always gotten to spend the holidays with their families. These brave men and women deserve our support now more than ever so let's all prove that we love our Veterans and they are more than worth the cost of our favorite cup of coffee in the morning! For Christmas this year we can change a life for the better with a trained service dog if we all pitch in! No donation is too large or too small and the Vets appreciate any effort that you can make. Together we can make a difference! Happy Holidays! #Stop22

Join the Conversation

Sign in with your Facebook account or

Ansley Elledge posted a new update:
almost 3 years ago

Update #4

As I have watched everyone reflect over what they're thankful for throughout Thanksgiving weekend and into the end of November, I want to challenge everyone to share their thanks and appreciation to our Veterans. These men and women, some who haven't been able to share or celebrate Thanksgiving with their families every year, have earned us our freedom while losing their own. Service dogs can help our heroes get back on their feet and earn their deserved freedom back, and it is our duty to help in every and any way we can. Together we can make a difference. Share, repost, and donate to this worthy cause to help our Vets in need.

Join the Conversation

Sign in with your Facebook account or

Ansley Elledge posted a new update:
almost 3 years ago

Update #3

We have been making great progress over the past week due to the generosity we feel towards our Veterans. We have noticed that one of our supporters had the great idea of dedicating her donation to a veteran she cares for. Lets start a trend in commenting who our donations are in honor of and get the ball rolling to support our veterans and their furry companions! Together we can make a difference in this season of giving thanks and spreading love! #stop22

Join the Conversation

Sign in with your Facebook account or

Ansley Elledge posted a new update:
about 3 years ago

Update #2

We apologize for the recent trouble with the link but we appreciate your patience and encourage you to retry your donations to this worthy cause. These veterans need your help and together we can make a difference for them! #Stop22

Join the Conversation

Sign in with your Facebook account or

Ansley Elledge posted a new update:
about 3 years ago

Update #1

In only two days we've raised over $250 to support our beloved heroes and their furry companions! Lets keep up the good work and get the word out to reach our goal! Together we can make a difference. #stop22

Join the Conversation

Sign in with your Facebook account or