Bobby Bones is undoubtedly one of the hardest working men in show business. Not only is he the face of the nationally syndicated The Bobby Bones Show, he also heads up a wildly successful podcast, is a best-selling author and a television personality with a stint as the in-house mentor on ABC’s American Idol and the star of his very own National Geographic show, Breaking Bobby Bones (among other projects). No matter how busy he gets, however, Bones always makes time to give back and this year is no different.
The award-winning multi-media personality has once again teamed up with Purina Dog Chow to launch the brand’s third annual Service Dog Salute campaign, which pays tribute to military veterans and the loyal dogs that serve them.
The partnership came together very organically a few years ago after Bones and Purina discovered they were both supporting the same cause.
“We were giving service dogs away on the radio show because they were so expensive. They were $20,000 a dog on average and so once we found this out, we started to get vets dogs once we realized how important they were to their mental health and well-being,” Bones recalls to Country Now. “At the same time that I was doing this, Purina was doing this as well. And so they were like, ‘hey, we’re kind of running parallel doing the same thing. Why don’t we combine?’ That’s why it’s been super cool for me because I was already working on this and they were working on this in a much bigger way than we were so it was really great for me to come over.”
Service dogs provide endless benefits for veterans suffering from PTSD and other post-combat challenges in ways that no other therapy can. Unfortunately, less than one-percent of vets in need are able to acquire a service dog each year due to resource, cost and awareness constraints. Bones and Dog Chow hope to change that as many veterans returning from combat may not be equipped to live their lives without these dogs.
Bones had a chance to witness first-hand the benefits of a service dog when he visited with a veteran who previously served overseas and at Camp David.
“He’d been through a lot. I mean, so much that I don’t fully understand,” Bones shares. “He had PTSD. He would have panic attacks in the middle of the night and his dog would jump up on his chest to make sure that he was okay.”
After spending the day with the vet and his children, Bones instantly knew he wanted to do more for the cause.
“I feel like regardless of how much I get involved, it’s not enough. These guys and girls go over and risk their lives and sometimes give their lives for us to be able to even do this,” he acknowledges. “I always feel like I could do a little more. I hope to be able to continue to make a difference and keep a platform where I can make a difference.”
You can help make a difference, too. Now through Thanksgiving, Dog Chow will make a donation (up to $100,000) to their two partner service dog organizations, the Pets and Vets program at Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation and Got Your Six Support Dogs, for every bag of Dog Chow purchased.
Additionally, Bones, who is considering running for Governor of his home state of Arkansas one day, also wants to spread the word about the PAWS for Veterans Therapy Act. The legislation, which is meant to help veterans get service dogs, has been passed by the House but is awaiting Senate approval. If you visit DogChow.com/service, you can easily send an email to your senators urging them to pass the bill.
“There’s a letter already there. You just find out who your Senator is,” Bones explains. “You don’t have to write it, but it’s right there, and if it says what you feel you can use it and you can send it and it’s pretty great.”