Breaking barriers: Service dogs welcome
Attending events and enjoying the vibrant atmosphere of crowds can be a boost to mental health and veterans who have a service dog shouldn’t face additional barriers because of their furry friend. Thanks to organizations like Vet Tix, veterans and their service dogs have attends thousands of events without any hindrance. Vet Tix, with its mission to give something to those who gave, has become the leader in providing free in-person entertainment to veterans, currently serving military members, first responders, and families of fallen heroes.
Vet Tix is a nonprofit organization that believes in thanking veterans, military members, and first responders for their service and sacrifice to our nation and communities. Through the generous support of donors such as teams, venues, artists, corporations and private individuals, Vet Tix has distributed over 17 million free event tickets since its inception in 2008.
These tickets cover a wide range of genres, including concerts, live entertainment, sports, family events, performing arts and many more. But there is more to it than pure entertainment. These opportunities are contributing positively to the mental health of these individuals who want to have a break from the demands of life and have fun in the process.
For veterans with service dogs, attending events can pose unique challenges. However, Vet Tix and its venue donors recognize the importance of inclusion and understand that service dogs are trained to navigate crowded environments. Through Vet Tix’s Tickets for Troops program, veterans with service dogs can request and receive available tickets and ensure that seating arrangements facilitate their needs. A service animal is happiest when it is close to its owner and these moments of recreation can bring joy to both the service member and their canine companion.
Since the majority of the tickets Vet Tix receives as donations are in the same sections, VetTixers find themselves sitting among each other, creating an environment that assists with their reintegration into local communities. This inclusive setting also allows veterans to connect with fellow veterans, service members and first responders, fostering a sense of camaraderie and community. At sporting events, veterans may be cheering for the opposite team, but ultimately they are part of the same team of those who served.
When it comes to service dogs, Vet Tix also works closely with Semper K9, a nationally-recognized nonprofit dedicated to training service dogs. Semper K9 utilizes rescued and donated dogs, reducing training time and costs.
By collaborating with Semper K9, Vet Tix ensures veterans with service dogs have access to specially-trained companions who are well-prepared for crowded environments. With the support of Semper K9, Vet Tix is able to extend its reach and make events more accessible to veterans and their service animals.
Cassandra, a U.S. Army veteran, expressed her gratitude after attending a Jeff Dunham show courtesy of Vet Tix and its donors. In an online testimonial, she shared, "Thank you so much to Vet Tix, Tate Group Inc. and Jeff Dunham for the amazing show and fantastic tickets! We had the best night ever and could not stop laughing! It was a wonderful bonding experience for me and my family, since I was recently placed with my service dog and haven't had any recent family time. This was a great way to reconnect. Thank you again from the bottom of my heart!"
Cassandra’s experience shows that Vet Tix is more than just a ticket provider. It is a catalyst for social engagement, enabling veterans with service dogs to enjoy events and the company of fellow veterans and first responders. With administrative costs under 5% and a commitment to ensuring that 100% of every donated dollar goes back into programs, Vet Tix has garnered support from over 40,000 organizations and individuals who’ve donated to Vet Tix. With a network of over 2 million members nationwide and an extensive collection of testimonials, Vet Tix continues to uplift the spirits of those who have served our nation, reminding them their sacrifices are appreciated and valued.