Sometimes healing can come in unexpected ways.  For one Air Force veteran diagnosed with PTSD following a tour in Iraq, some relief came in the form of a puppy.  Dave Sharpe found the companionship of a new pet helped him deal with his battle wounds, and then went on to use his experience to help others.   Mr. Sharpe started “Pets2Vets,” a program to match veterans with homeless pets from animal shelters.  One of the goals of the Pets2Vets program is to raise awareness about PTSD.  While there are a few other groups who provide service dogs to veterans, many PTSD veterans do not qualify for these programs.  Mr. Sharpe lives in the suburban Washington DC area and has begun his pilot program in this area. Currently vets from the Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the DC VA Hospital have been adopting pets from the Washington Animal Rescue League.  With the success of this pilot program, Pets2Vets plans to expand to additional shelters in the DC area and then across the country in partnership with local veterans organizations.  To learn more, see: www.militarytimes.com/news/2009/12/ap-pets2vets-122209/.  

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