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The Daily Vet by petMD

The Daily Vet is a blog featuring veterinarians from all walks of life. Every week they will tackle entertaining, interesting, and sometimes difficult topics in the world of animal medicine – all in the hopes that their unique insights and personal experiences will help you to understand your pets.

Veterans and Animals

This coming Friday, November 11, we officially celebrate Veteran’s Day. Hopefully, you are all already aware that Veteran’s Day is the day when we, both as a country and as individuals, recognize and thank the men and women who have served in the military for their duty, sacrifice and service to our country.

Initially, when I was asked to write about Veteran’s Day as it relates to cats, my initial thought was: It doesn’t really. Then I started thinking about the service that these men and women provide and what that means to our country as a whole. Essentially, it is because of them and their service and sacrifice that we are able to lead the types of lives that we do; these men and women ensure that we are able to lead our chosen lifestyles. And that includes the way we treat our animals; not only our cats, but all of our animals.

Compared to many other countries, our pets are pretty well off. Though there are working dogs in our society, and there are still "barn cats," in most cases our dogs and cats have moved into our homes and now share our beds and our lives. Yes, this happens in some other countries as well, but there are many others where it does not to any appreciable extent.

Is there still room for improvement in the lives of animals here on the home front? You bet there is! We have not done enough to curtail the puppy mill industry (and its feline equivalent), and there are still far too many homeless animals and far too many animals that are put to death each year because there are not enough homes for all of them. Still, we are actively working to correct the situations that impact our animals in a negative fashion.

Progress may be slow in a lot of these areas, but we will keep working until we accomplish what we must. We are not a nation that will sit back and allow our animals to suffer.

We worry not only about our own animals but about those in other countries too. Groups such as Amazon Cares, World Vets and many others are reaching out to improve the lives of animals in far away countries.

There are lots of other things that are great about our country too. Things that our veterans have worked for, fought for, and even died for. We’ve focused on animals in this post only because this column is, after all, about cats.

Dr. Lorie Huston

Image: American Cat by Andrew / via Flickr

Comments  4

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  • Veterans & Military
    11/07/2011 07:21am

    As our military helps to improve the lives of humans domestically and abroad, hopefully it will lead to improving the lives of the critters everywhere.

    It's always heartwarming to see stories of soldiers who bring a treasured pet back to the states from a war-torn area. It goes to show how strong the bond is between human and animal.

  • The healing power of cats
    11/07/2011 11:36am

    Our veterans need our support more than ever. It is my hope this Veteran's day that the military will change its rules and allow soldiers to bring along their new best friend while serving on duty to different posts/stations. Currently outside charity organizations and private individuals coordinate and pay for the transport of dogs back to US which costs thousands of dollars. But while serving, these stray dogs-turned-comfort companion are not recognized for the valuable service they provide the very soldiers.

    More soldiers are diagnosed with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) and in one recent edition of Extreme Makeover, a sergeant, could not cope at home was sent to a facility for help. The first thing they gave him was a service/therapy dog who NEVER leaves the sergeant's side.

    We also hear of increasing reports of comfort and therapy cats provide especially to women battling cancer. Cancer patients are encouraged to take cat naps and just the act of stroking the cats provides immeasurable comfort.

    Thank for this post and we salute all the men and women of the armed forces!

  • Delta
    11/08/2011 11:07am

    The delta society has a program that is called pet partners. They will trian you and your pet to become certified in pet therapy. Last I heard they do accept cats in the program.Look under the pet partners tab on the site.


    http://www.deltasociety.org

  • 11/08/2011 11:10am

    Here is the list of animals that can be certified for therapy through delta.

    ELIGIBLE SPECIES
    There are a great many species that make wonderful visiting animals and can form a strong human-animal bond. Only domesticated animals may become Pet Partners. Examples of Registered Pet Partners include: Dogs, Cats, Guinea Pigs, Rabbits, Domesticated Rats, Horses, Goats, Llamas, Donkeys, Potbellied Pigs, Miniature Pigs, Cockatoos, African Gray Parrots, Chickens.


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