Sherman & Tingle Show Raises $90k + To Provide Six Veterans With Service Dogs

Veterans service dogs

The popular Chicago morning show, Sherman & Tingle show, on 97.1 FM, the Drive, came through for our military vets once again. On the fourth installment of the ‘Give a Vet a Pet’ campaign, the show raised more than $90K to help six military veterans get a service dog. 

Initially, the campaign set out to raise enough money to provide five service dogs to local veterans. But the heartwarming response by the show’s listeners helped raise enough money to provide six service dogs. 

The show accepted donations from the Chicago community to fund this noble initiative from February 22 to 26, 2021, with an initial target of $75,000, enough money for five service dogs. However, the outpouring generosity of the Chicago community shot the amount to a staggering $90,000. 

A service dog costs $15,000 due to the incredible amount of training they undergo. Each dog is specially trained to meet the unique needs of its vet owner. 

Raising more than $90K in five days at a time when most people are struggling financially due to a ranging pandemic is an incredible feat. It demonstrates how much people in Chicago care about helping former soldiers rebuild their lives. ‘

It also shows that Sherman and Tingle, the duo behind the show, have an incredible capacity to move the audience as influential radio personalities. The show airs between 05:30 am and 09:00 am on weekday mornings. The impressive pair managed to rally up their listeners in the Chicago area to raise more than $90K in a week.

How Do Service Dogs Help Veterans?

Service dogs instrumentally help veterans returning home from active duty rebuild their lives and reunite with their families. They’re critical to helping veterans overcome the devastating effects of post-traumatic disorder (PTSD).

The National Institute of Health estimates that 30% of American veterans returning home from active combat experience PTSD. Unfortunately, only 40% of these vets seek help to combat this devastating mental health issue.

The Americans With Disability Act recognizes service animals as dogs specially trained to aid a person with a disability. A service dog’s duties range from guiding a blind person to more subtle ones, like calming a person with PTSD during an anxiety attack.

Veterans who use service dogs experience lower levels of anxiety and depression, reduced hospitalization, and lower medical and psychiatric costs. Some of the additional benefits include: 

  • Companionship to ease stress and loneliness 
  • Reducing social anxiety
  • Building and strengthening personal relationships 
  • Providing unconditional love, protection, and security 
  • Reducing the reliance on prescription drugs 
  • Helping veterans return to work

Service Dogs During the Pandemic 

The Covid-19 pandemic and the resultant lifestyle changes pose a significant threat to veterans, especially those struggling with PTSD. The resultant feeling of doom and gloom heightens anxiety, stress, and depression in the vulnerable group. 

The Covid-19 safety measures don’t help matters either because they encourage social isolation. Veterans are often reliant on their social network for support and grounding, and the pandemic is increasingly taking away this support. 

A service dog can help roll back the adverse mental effects of the pandemic. They provide the much-needed emotional support and companionship that a vulnerable veteran craves. 

Trained companion animals provide the distraction, entertainment, and companionship a veteran needs to improve the quality of life. A 15-minute interaction with a service dog induces the release of helpful chemicals in the body to help combat stress and depression. 

Physical contact when petting a dog is comforting, reducing anxiety and other depressive symptoms. It helps to improve health, memory, social skills, and mood. Caring for a service dog will help our vets through these trying times as they integrate back into society. 

The American Veteran Service Dog Academy

The American Veteran Service Dog Academy is a Chicago-based organization that offers comprehensive service dog training. It collaborates with Peggy Moran’s School for Dogs to provide a 52-week service dog training course. 

The comprehensive course teaches veterans to train their service dogs through an online, hybrid, or in-person program. The course aims to help veterans build a fruitful partnership with the dog by equipping them with knowledge about how dogs learn and how to encourage behavioral change. 

Instead of teaching dogs to respond to commands, the course allows a veteran to build a partnership with the dog. The result is a service dog that’s uniquely tuned to a veteran’s needs and instinctively responds to them.

AVSDA is on a mission to improve the lives of veterans dealing with the effects of post-traumatic stress. They are committed to reducing the rising number of suicides among veterans who have PTSD by providing them with trained service dogs. Service dogs have a therapeutic effect and are proven to speed up the healing journey of a veteran struggling with mental health. 

AVSDA was founded in 2013 by a small group of veterans concerned about the high suicide rates among army veterans. The founders sought an efficient solution to help the retired soldiers enjoy a better quality of life, and they settled on the love and support of a service dog. Service dogs are faithful and loyal companions that improve the quality of life and help reduce the prevalence of suicidal thoughts.

The Sherman & Tingle Show came to the aid of six local veterans in Chicago by raising more than $90K to help them get service dogs. Service dogs are a proven way to help veterans improve the quality of life and readjust to civilian life on coming home from active duty. 

A fully-trained service dog costs as much as $15,000, which most veterans can’t afford due to the high cost of seeking specialized medical and psychiatric care. Together, we can help these brave warriors access the help they need to reintegrate into civilian life and become productive members of society.


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