Monday, January 19, 2015

Read a book, help a veteran (and a shelter dog)! by Author Misty Evans

In the third book in my Southern California Violent Crimes Taskforce series, DEADLY FORCE, my hero, Cal, is a SEAL suffering from PTSD. He finds comfort and healing with a dog named Maggie. As I was writing his story, I did a lot of research on veterans, PTSD, and service dogs. As Bianca, the heroine in the story, tells Cal, "You never get over PTSD, but you can learn to live with it."

PTSD effects 11% to 20% of our veterans and service dogs can help. These precious animals can literally save the lives of the men and women they are chosen to serve. Many are also shelter dogs, so the dog’s life has also been saved. According to an article on

“The animals draw out even the most isolated personality, and having to praise the animals helps traumatized veterans overcome emotional numbness. Teaching the dogs service commands develops a patient’s ability to communicate, to be assertive but not aggressive, a distinction some struggle with. The dogs can also assuage the hypervigilance common in vets with PTSD. Some participants report they finally got some sleep knowing that a naturally alert soul was standing watch.” (Read the full article at

I’m a sucker for shelter dogs (as anyone who follows my FB page knows) and I often write dogs into my stories. The more I researched about the important role dogs have in helping veterans, I knew Maggie and Cal needed a special bond in my story. But that wasn’t enough – these two characters needed to go beyond the pages of the book. I decided early on to set up Operation Freedom Dogs in honor of Maggie and the freedom she’s able to give Cal once he’s no longer a SEAL, and to donate portions of the proceeds of DEADLY FORCE to service dog organizations who rescue shelter dogs and train them to help veterans dealing with PTSD.

To learn more, please visit my website or my Pinterest page and support any of these organizations:


  1. Great book, fantastic cause, thank you for bringing much needed attention to people about the need for these service dogs.

  2. This book was amazing! The characters were some of my favorites! You can easily tell, when you read this book, that a lot of thought and emotions went into writing these characters. It made me love them even more!


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