Bobby Bones is always a happy-go-lucky radio host and laugh out loud funny in his stand-up performance, but the beloved DWTS winner revealed to HollywoodLife.com that he suffered with severe PTSD after he was jumped multiple times. “I had been held at gunpoint outside of a radio session event, I got jumped going into a building a different time. We had a bunch of death threats, we have a lot of opinions, and I’m pretty open about where I am.” Bobby explained on the HollywoodLife podcast. “I remember the third time that I got jumped or held at gunpoint, I couldn’t close my eyes without seeing it. My therapist told me to get a dog for those reasons.”
Bobby was inspired by his experience to “learn about the effects of animals and PTSD,” which led him to discover more information about the veterans and their struggle with PTSD. “We realized the importance of service dogs to our military. They come back with PTSD. And then we also realized how much they cost. And each dog is about $20,000,” the radio show host revealed. “Our heroes are serving overseas and domestically taking care of us, but then they’re not always fully equipped to deal with a lot of the emotional and physical stress that’s put on them. So, on my show, we had been buying service dogs for vets.”
In a perfect collaboration, Bobby partnered up with Purina Dog Chow for their Service Dog Salute campaign, which donates up to $500,000 to Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) in support of their veterans program. ” the special thing about Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation is they take dogs that have also been rescued. So oftentimes, these dogs are just like us. They have been thrown aside. People look at pit bulls like mine and they think, ‘That’s a dangerous dog.’ And if you see me walking down the street with a beard and tattoos, a lot of people think the same thing about me, a veteran with PTSD,” explained US veteran David Fuller, who joined Bobby on the HL podcast. “We’re just people and animals who have gone through terrible experiences that have impacted our lives. So what Tony La Russa’s does do is they take those dogs, those shelter dogs, and they pair them with us. And the wonderful thing that Purina Dog Chow does is they give the dog free dog food for life.”
When people purchase a bag of Dog Chow with the ARF logo on it, the brand will donate the the foundation. “Instead of us having to have the enormous cost, through a nine month to yearlong process, we are training the dogs. And Dog Chow’s making it possible,” David added.
Listen to the full, inspiring conversation on the HollywoodLife Podcast, here.