Home » Local Veteran Receives An Emotional Support Animal From “Pups For Patriots.”

Local Veteran Receives An Emotional Support Animal From “Pups For Patriots.”

Published on April 16, 2024 by Darren Jorgensen
The lives of hundreds of pet parents have been changed with the presence of an emotional support animal. These little furry animals aid in the emotional and mental well-being of the individual. The positivity they bring into the lives of their handlers is incomparable. Recently, a video gained popularity when Dr. Scott Shelby, owner and CEO of Family Solutions and founder of Pups for Patriots, presented a beautiful Goldendoodle puppy to local West Monroe resident Ray Fabacher.
Three happy dogs with patriotic bandanas sitting on a brown leather couch


Ray Fabacher, a former U.S. Marine Sergeant, was suffering from mental and physical health conditions. He joined the U.S. Marines at 17, and he served across the nation until a seizure disorder forced him to end his military career. This new reality was a struggle, but Fabacher found the strength to adapt. One day, Fabacher received a call and was asked if he would like to receive an emotional support animal. At that moment, Fabacher felt he “was not a deserving vet” to receive such a thoughtful gift. Fabacher was gifted Teddy, an emotional support animal from the “Pups for Patriots” initiative, and says that Teddy has impacted his life in the best way. Teddy allows for him to be more active, such as taking him on walks. He enjoys Teddy’s cuddles and kisses when he gets home from work and believes Teddy is an excellent addition to his family. Dr. Scott Shelby started the “Pups for Patriots” initiative to make a profound impact outside the walls of their clinics. The initiative aims to connect United States Armed Forces Veterans with Emotional Support Animals, providing them with companionship and support. Fabacher is their first recipient of an emotional support animal from “Pups for Patriots,” and Dr. Shelby’s commitment to helping more deserving veterans in the future is a testament to the initiative’s success and the gratitude it has sparked. These little furry friends can completely change your life. They are proven to have a positive psychological impact and therapeutic benefit on individuals suffering from mental health conditions. The sense of support and companionship that an ESA provides helps the individual combat feelings of isolation and loneliness. Moreover, with an ESA, the handler gets a sense of responsibility, which helps them feel needed, which is essential when struggling with disorders like depression. An ESA can be beneficial during anxiety or stress as it provides comfort and a sense of security to the individual. Studies prove that interacting with an animal can lower blood pressure and reduce stress levels, positively affecting the individual’s mood and quality of life. When playing and interacting with these little furry friends, human bodies release feel-good hormones like oxytocin, which can help elevate the mood and reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Who Is Eligible For An Emotional Support Animal?

If any individual experiences the symptoms of mental illness, then they may qualify for an ESA. Here are a few disorders that may qualify for an emotional support animal.
  • Learning Disorder
  • Autism
  • General Anxiety Disorder
  • Gender Identity
  • Bipolar
  • Cognitive disorders
  • Depression
  • Severe anxiety
  • Tic Disorder
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
The common mental health conditions that may warrant an ESA recommendation.
  • ADHD
  • Anxiety disorders.
  • Depression.
  • PTSD.
  • Bipolar disorder/mood disorder.
  • Schizophrenia.
Posted in: News

About the Author

Patricia Thompson
Darren Jorgensen
Darren M. Jorgensen has a fondness for all animals, though dogs especially, have a huge home in his heart. He enjoys quilting, making handcrafted soap and bodyworks and anything that produces practical products. Jorgensen lives with his own service dog who doubles as an Emotional Support Animal. He gets it.


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