THIS STORY IS PRESENTED IN PART BY DRAKE DENTISTRY
Mark Ferri, veteran and Vance County Animal Shelter volunteer, was on Monday’s edition of WIZS’ Town Talk program to discuss the shelter’s upcoming Veterans Dog Walk event.
The event – Paws, Tails and Boots – will be held at the shelter, located at 1243 Brodie Rd. in Henderson, on Saturday, November 16, 2019, from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.
The public is welcome, with veterans, first responders and their families strongly encouraged to attend.
During the event, shelter volunteers and staff will be on-hand to answer questions and encourage participants who are eligible to commit to adopting an animal.
Founded by Ferri in 2016, the dog walk serves the twofold purpose of matching animals with loving owners and raising awareness of mental health issues.
According to Ferri, traumatic experiences are something that the shelter dogs and many veterans and first responders have in common and interactions between the two can be healing.
“It’s very therapeutic,” Ferri said. “A lot of people that have participated in the dog walk in the past have told me they feel like it’s a real help to them; the dogs love it too. You can come out and enjoy yourself without any kind of judgment from anyone or fear of being ridiculed or embarrassed.”
Fortunately, according to Ferri, society is becoming more aware and responsive to PTSD and other mental health issues. “Society isn’t very kind to the mentally ill; however, a lot of people are trying to turn that tide to get away from the stigma.”
To hear the interview with Ferri in its entirety, please click the play button below. Listen live to WIZS’ Town Talk Monday-Friday at 11 a.m. on 1450AM, 100.1 FM or online at www.wizs.com.