Shy Wolf Sanctuary Education & Experience Center will be joining forces with Home Base Florida, a local non-profit founded by the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital dedicated to supporting Veterans and military families impacted by the invisible wounds of war, to provide them with the opportunity to participate in Shy Wolf Sanctuary’s Healing Hearts Program.
The collaboration is unique to Home Base Florida’s Adventure Series Program, an initiative aimed at strengthening family bonds before, during and after military deployment. On Wednesday, June 7th, Veterans enrolled in Home Base Florida’s Adventure Series will participate in an educational encounter with Shy Wolf Sanctuary’s rescued animals that have experienced similar challenges in their lives.
Home Base Florida engages with local veterans to help them overcome the invisible wounds of war including post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, anxiety, depression, co-occurring substance use disorder, military sexual trauma, and family relationship challenges.
During the Healing Hearts Program, participants are introduced to Shy Wolf Sanctuary’s rescued resident animals that often come from abused, abandoned, and neglected situations. In a peaceful environment, the animal encounter becomes a restorative setting, where they open to experience forgiveness, courage, and unconditional love. Following the encounter, Home Base Florida Veterans will assist in hands-on volunteer projects to repair and maintain animal enclosures.
“We emphasize the connection between animals and people, who experience similar emotional reactions. By relating to our resident animals and experiencing unconditional love, Healing Hearts participants can overcome personal struggles,” said Deanna Deppen, Shy Wolf Sanctuary’s executive director.
In the future, Home Base Florida and Shy Wolf Sanctuary will invite the family members of Veterans to participate, offering them a special way to reconnect and restore relationships through the unique bond that is formed with animal therapy.
“Only through generous partnerships with local businesses and non-profits, is Home Base Florida able to host our Adventure Series activities. We are very grateful to Shy Wolf Sanctuary for this fun, unique opportunity to bring Veterans and families together to experience the therapeutic benefits of animals and collective healing,” said Armando Hernandez, Home Base Florida Senior Director and United States Marine Corps veteran.