The award honors a service dog and their impact on the lives of veterans with PTSD
In September 2023, Purina Dog Chow and award-winning recording artist and actor Anthony Ramos shared the finalists for its Dog Chow Visible Impact Award. Now, in celebration of Veteran’s Day, Purina Dog Chow and Ramos proudly shared that Huey, a service dog who helps US Army veteran Ramon manage his post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Huey is honored for his ability to detect dizzy spells and migraines before they happen to Ramon and for helping him open up to his family about what he is struggling with.
"All of our service dog finalists have made a significant impact for their veterans, but Huey's story rose to the top for the thousands who voted," said Ramos, who preferred to not use his last name for this story, in an organizational release.1 "The Visible Impact Award let us hear first-hand the role PTSD service dogs play, and we know there are more veterans who could benefit from a service dog the way Ramon has. We hope to inspire change so any veteran in need can get the help they deserve."
According to the organizational release,1 The Dog Chow Visible Impact Award recognizes the impact service dogs have on military veterans who are experiencing PTSD. The winner is selected based on a nationwide vote on the finalists selected, which determined Huey as the winner.
After struggling once he returned from serving in Iraq, Ramon contacted Operation Freedom Paws, a service dog organization based in California, where he applied and was approved for its program. Here he met Huey and they bonded immediately so they spent the next year training so Huey could learn Ramon’s behaviors and where he needed assistance.
"Huey has saved my life in so many ways over the past 6 years," said Ramon.1 "Not only has he helped me manage my PTSD symptoms and helped me become the father and husband I once was, he can detect a dizzy spell is coming on by smelling changes in my body's chemistry and then stands between my legs to help me balance."
As the Visible Impact Award winners, Ramos and Huey will receive $10,000, $25,000 will be donated to Operation Freedom Paws, and an additional $75,000 will be donated to the Association of Service Dog Providers for Military Veterans to help train more service dogs.1
Purina Dog Chow and Actor Anthony Ramos Announce Winning Service Dog of Visible Impact Award. News release. Purina Dog Chow. November 9, 2023. Accessed November 13, 2023. https://prnmedia.prnewswire.com/news-releases/purina-dog-chow-and-actor-anthony-ramos-announce-winning-service-dog-of-visible-impact-award-301983837.html