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Film Festival Now Open for Entries

This year, Dog Chow is presenting a new category in the New York Dog Film Festival: Service Dog Salute. We’re inviting filmmakers and visual storytellers to explore the unique ways PTSD service dogs are able to transform the lives of the military veterans they serve. This page is designed to serve as your starting point for film festival details and inspiration. 

New Category for 2024!

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About the New York Dog Film Festival and Service Dog Salute Category

The New York Dog Film Festival is an annual philanthropic celebration of the love between dogs and their people. This year, Dog Chow is presenting a new category within the festival. All entries for this category should focus on the unique ways PTSD service dogs are able to transform the lives of the military veterans they serve.

Interested filmmakers and visual storytellers are encouraged to submit a short film of 10 minutes or less for an opportunity to win the $5,000 grand prize and a trip to New York to attend the film festival. Submissions are due to July 15, 2024.

Preferred content should be ultimately uplifting in tone. And while the specifics are up to you, here are a few ideas for exploration:

  • Illustrate one or more of the unique skills that a PTSD service dog is trained to perform for their veteran handler and detail how that skill has worked to improve the veteran’s quality of life.

  • Demonstrate the long-term effects that a PTSD service dog has had on their handler’s PTSD symptoms and quality of life.

  • Highlight the challenges that veterans face with regard to PTSD service dogs. (E.g., supply vs. demand issues, PTSD service dogs not currently being a covered medical expense, public access hurdles, mental health stigmas, etc.)

Learn More About the Rules
Submit Your Film

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. Individuals who are legal residents of the 50 US, DC or PR.
Contest ends 7/15/2024. Void where prohibited by law. 

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Facts About PTSD Service Dogs

PTSD service dogs for Veterans are not the same as emotional support, therapy, or companion dogs. They are a subset of psychiatric service dogs and, like all service dogs, are specifically trained to help their handler perform tasks they cannot otherwise perform on their own.  

PTSD service dogs have been proven to help reduce the severity of PTSD symptoms, reduce suicidal ideations, and enable their Veteran handlers to enjoy increased independence and a higher quality of life. However, PTSD service dogs are currently NOT a covered medical benefit provided by the Department of Veteran Affairs. Fortunately, there are a growing number of PTSD service dog training organizations across the country that work to provide these life-saving dogs to Veterans in need at no cost to them.  

Additional Resources for Filmmakers

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Connect with an organization nearest you that trains PTSD service dogs for veterans

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Learn the facts about PTSD service dogs & the common tasks they are trained to perform

Watch Our 2021 Documentary Short: Even Heroes Need Heroes

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View Our Hall of Heroes

Read the remarkable, real-life stories of some exceptional PTSD service dogs on our Hall of Heroes page.