The Pets for Vets program is dedicated to supporting veterans and providing a second chance for shelter pets by rescuing, training and pairing them with America’s veterans who could benefit from a companion animal.
The Pets… 3 to 4 million dogs and cats are euthanized each year. These animals can make excellent companion animals but never have that chance. Our dedicated animal trainers will evaluate and rescue the shelter animals and provide additional training to ensure that they are able to assimilate into a home, which is quite different from a shelter environment.
The Vets… Sadly, there are alarming statistics of suicide, family abuse and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder facing veterans returning to civilian life after military duty. This can cause a downward spiral of apathy, unemployment, broken relationships, addiction and depression. It is our belief that companion animals can be the life saving therapy or friend that many returning service men and women need.
Medical studies have shown that companion animals significantly improve mental and physical health, including reducing stress, depression and anxiety, symptoms experienced by many serving in the military.
How does it work?
The Pets for Vets team interviews each veteran to ascertain what he or she is looking for in a companion animal; we pair this with his or her personality and lifestyle to make the perfect veteran-pet match. Once the perfect pet is selected for the veteran, the pet spends time in the home of one of our trainers who teaches the pet basic obedience and other valuable behaviors needed to live with his/her new owner. This can include becoming comfortable with wheel chairs or behaviors needed to help with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).
Who is Eligible?
Veterans who have a condition that could benefit from a trained companion animal and who are able to care for a pet, are eligible to receive a Pets for Vets companion animal.