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Contact: Julie Rowe
The Impetus Agency


American Pet Products Association Announces Partnership with Animal Rescue Foundation’s Pets and Vets Program

APPA pledged $1 million over the next four years to support the expansion of the program pairing shelter animals with veterans coping with PTSD and other service-related challenges.

(Stamford, CT) – American Pet Products Association (APPA) President & CEO Bob Vetere and Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) Executive Director Elena Bicker announced today that APPA has partnered with ARF in support of their Pets and Vets Program.

APPA pledged $1 million over the next four years to support expansion of the program pairing shelter animals with veterans coping with PTSD, traumatic brain injuries, anxiety, and other service-related challenges. ARF then guides the veteran-dog teams through a 10-month psychiatric support dog training program.

Unlike service-dog programs that cost thousands of dollars and involve long waitlists, ARF’s program operates on shorter timelines and with no out-of-pocket expenses to the veteran. Teams complete service-training curriculum together in small, veteran-only classes, which deepens the bond between the veterans and their dogs. 

Vetere said, “ARF's Pets and Vets program aligns perfectly with APPA’s mission to promote responsible pet ownership, as well as the joys and health benefits associated with owning a pet.” He added, “We couldn’t think of a better way to give back than to help connect rescued service dogs with men and women who have served our country and can truly benefit from the unconditional love, security, service, and companionship of a dog. The APPA Board and staff are tremendously proud of this new endeavor that will positively impact the lives of countless heroes and their pets for years to come.”

“ARF’s Pets and Vets program is truly an example of saving both ends of the leash,” said Bicker. “We’re excited to have APPA join us in this important mission that can change the lives of so many animals and veterans.”

For more details about the Pets and Vets program, please visit


The American Pet Products Association (APPA) is the leading trade association serving the interests of the pet products industry since 1958. APPA membership includes more than 1,200 pet product manufacturers, their representatives, importers and livestock suppliers representing both large corporations and growing business enterprises. APPA's mission is to promote, develop and advance pet ownership and the pet product industry and to provide the services necessary to help its members prosper. APPA is also proud to grow and support the industry through the following initiatives: Pets Add Life (PAL), the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI), Tony LaRussa’s Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) Pets for Vets program, The Pet Leadership Council (PLC), the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC), Bird Enjoyment and Advantage Koalition (BEAK), and the Pet Care Trust. Visit for more information.

The Animal Rescue Foundation’s (ARF) core mission is the rescue of dogs and cats who have run out of time at public shelters, giving them a chance at life until a new home can be found. ARF couples this focus with innovative programs strengthening the human-animal bond for children, seniors, veterans, and people in disadvantaged circumstances. Through ARF, people experience the unconditional love and acceptance of dogs and cats to fulfill a mission of “People Rescuing Animals...Animals Rescuing People...”®