Abandoned dog teaches Navy veteran life lessons

Clarke kids and Laila 3

Laila was a down on her luck dog in a New Jersey shelter, but she still had important lessons to share with the Navy veteran who gave her a second chance at life. Navy an opportunity for self improvement Clarke served in the Navy from 1994-1997, during which time he was often at sea. Like many recruits, he saw military service as a way to improve himself. “I chose to enter the military to make a positive difference in my life,” Clarke recalls. The Navy veteran was stationed on the USS Nimitz and completed two tours in the Persian Gulf, including deployment as part of Operation Southern … [Read more...]

Hero Tails: stories worth sharing

Hero Tails Lock-up Blog Header-04

This month and through July 4th we're honoring shelter pets by featuring their tales of hope and perseverance. Hero Tails showcases the stories of five brave pets who we hope will inspire others to adopt and support homeless pets in their communities. In the next couple of weeks, you’ll get to know our featured shelter pets Lulu, Willow, Professor Plum, Kratos and Thanos, and many others that are in the care of our shelter and rescue partners across the country. Join us on our social media - Facebook, Twitter, G+, Instagram and Pinterest - search for the hashtag #PFPselfie and be part of our … [Read more...]

Calm, cool canine helps Army veteran make connections

Mary and Rocky

A homeless canine with a cool demeanor was just what one Army veteran needed to step out of her comfort zone and start making connections with "the best friend I could have hoped for." Cats before canine Mary grew up in Maine and joined the United States Army after graduating high school in 1978. She was sent to Massachusetts, Texas, and Georgia, and spent two years in Germany working in military intelligence at a post on the East German border. She continued moving around after leaving the service in 1982, and while she had grown up with dogs in the family – mixed-breeds, a Beagle, a German … [Read more...]

Love at first sight for disabled veteran and stray dog

Michael and Dixie

It was “mutual love at first sight” for a disabled Air Force veteran battling near-constant pain from advanced degenerative arthritis and the little nine-pound stray dog, aptly named Angel, who brought much needed hope and healing. Michael was looking for a canine companion to share his life and help distract him from the crippling pain he experiences every day. Because his arthritis makes it difficult for him to lift more than 20-25 pounds, he knew that only a small dog would fit the bill. The Air Force veteran started his search online, and eventually saw a little dog on the website of the … [Read more...]

Army soldier combats loneliness with “the perfect dog”

Frank and Sam

As a young Army soldier, Frank was not prepared for the loneliness he faced when he and his wife were relocated by the military to a place where the pair had no family or friends. In true Army strong spirit, he battled the blues by adopting a homeless hound who would become "the perfect dog."  A passion to serve In 2012, Frank joined the United States Army as a Watercraft Engineer. After attending basic training at Fort Jackson in South Carolina, he and his wife relocated to Newport News, Virginia, where Frank is stationed at the sprawling Joint Base Langley-Eustis. It was pure heart that … [Read more...]

Both abandoned, combat veteran and rescue dog save each other

Will and Shae

A two-tour Army combat veteran who lost everything when his wife abandoned him reclaims his life with the help of a rescue dog desperate for a second chance. Injured in service and abandoned at home In 2005, Will enlisted in the National Guard and deployed to Kosovo in June of 2006 on a peacekeeping mission. Three years later he was deployed to Afghanistan where - as part of an infantry division out of Massachusetts - he connected with some of the same soldiers he served with in Kosovo. During his Afghanistan tour and while descending a fuel truck ladder, Will injured his back when the … [Read more...]

Adult shelter dog a “light of life” for Army veteran and his wife

George and Ruxin

Ruxin was an adult shelter dog like so many others, wanting nothing more than a secure life in a loving home. In 2013, just before Christmas, the shelter dog got his wish: an Army veteran and his wife - still reeling from the loss of their beloved dog - were smitten by this two year-old Beagle mix. The rest, as they say, is history. In 2005, George retired, many years after his service in the Army Finance Unit. He was drafted in 1958 and recalls one of his most memorable times in the military, when he was serving in Budingen, Germany. "While there I was able to visit with my parents' … [Read more...]

It’s all relative: Einstein joins Navy family

Lynn and Einstein

For one four-legged Einstein, life is all relative as he becomes the latest member of a growing Navy family. It was a cold and dreary day in 2012, about two weeks before Christmas. Like in so many shelters, rescues, SPCAs and humane societies around the country, a homeless dog sat in an Indiana shelter with no home and few prospects of finding one. Unbeknownst to him at the time, the little dog known as Einstein was about to get early holiday present: the prospect of a much brighter future with a family to call his very own. Around that same time, Lynn was surfing the web in search of a … [Read more...]

9/11 rescuer and Iraq war veteran combats loneliness with feline battle buddy

Steven and Simon

When the World Trade Center collapsed on 9/11, Steven left his home in Chicago to join the rescue and recovery efforts at Ground Zero for three weeks, an experience that inspired him to enlist in the Army. But it was a four-legged, feline battle buddy that helped him combat the loneliness of his post-military life. While in the Army, Steven served as a Blackhawk crew chief for six years, and flew more than 1,000 hours over Iraq over the course of two deployments. Despite being twice deployed, his most memorable military experience occurred stateside. Following the 2010 mass shooting at Fort … [Read more...]

Screaming Eagle promises homeless dog a “fulfilling life”

Josh and Panzer

Joshua is an Army combat veteran who served five years with the 101st Airborne, including a yearlong deployment to Iraq. He returned to an empty home that is now complete after adopting a homeless adult dog aching for a second chance at life. The former Screaming Eagle joined the Army out of high school. One of the most memorable moments of his military service when he was deployed to Iraq between February 2003 and February 2004. "We had an arms market in the area of Baghdad we were located. Every time we would patrol, the weapons would disappear," he explains. "So I had the idea to roll in, … [Read more...]

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