Marine adopts adult dog to start his family

Wesley and Sass doing homework

An adult dog reminds one Marine of his boyhood, and a family tradition is reborn with the help of Pets for Patriots. “I always had a dog growing up,” says Wesley, a Marine Reservist living in upstate New York. “When I returned home from deployment and got married, I decided it was time to restart that tradition.” He and his wife, Paige, hope to have kids one day. Wesley believes it’s important for his children to have the same experience that he had growing up by having pets around the house.  Wesley served six years with the U.S. Marine Corps. Stationed in Syracuse, New York, he was … [Read more...]

Adopted pet takes bite out of veteran’s depression

Michael and Paco 1

Sometimes the antidote to loneliness and isolation is as simple as shelter pet adoption. For one Navy veteran suffering from depression, a homeless dog was just what the doctor ordered. Michael joined the Navy to get an education and to travel the world. Still on active duty, he has literally been around the world and back again, recently landing coveted orders which brought him back to his hometown in Michigan. Despite a successful naval career spanning some 18 years which included many academic and service awards and accolades – including Command Sailor of the Year in 2007 when he served at … [Read more...]

Marine fights to adopt disabled MWD and Iraq war partner

Megan and Rex

A Marine and a disabled MWD (military war dog) are in the fight of their lives: trying to spend their lives together  as friends after fighting side by side in Iraq. Now Megan Leavey and Rex have some power in their corner.  Influential New York State Senator Chuck Schumer has already written a letter to the secretary of the Air Force, which is responsible for all training and adoptions of MWDs at Lackland Air Force Base. We hope to do our part by creating more awareness of Megan's efforts to give Rex, her battle buddy and savior, the life he deserves in a loving home. Both suffered serious … [Read more...]

Help rescued Afghan dog reach his soldier

Trigger in Afghanistan

A rescued Afghan dog brought to the United States needs help for his final trip: home to his "adopted" soldier. A volunteer pilot with Pilots N Paws contacted us at the suggestion of one of our valued partners, the Michigan Humane Society. We get all kinds of requests for help at Pets for Patriots. Some can be dispatched by simply providing information and resources. Others, like this one, require the help of our friends. Last fall, an Army soldier rescued a dog he befriended in Afghanistan. Trigger, the dog pictured here, is currently in New York after having completed his quarantine … [Read more...]

Military family’s senior dog has date with destiny

Jim and dogs after morning run

One military family's senior dog seems to have had a date with destiny, giving credence to animal lovers who find their pets through rescue and adoption and who say they did not find their companions, but their companions found them. This is the story of one such pet. Archy had it made. He had been safely surrounded with love and care in the arms of a loving military family for 14 years. As is the case with most military families, Archy’s family had moved frequently, including two moves overseas. The dog had been through it all, but last year when his family got orders to fly overseas yet … [Read more...]

Pets and estate planning

Older woman with dog

What happens if you die before your cat or dog? It's a question being addressed increasingly as more people are including pets in their estate planning. Pets are property In the eyes of the law pets are property. But ask any pet guardian - otherwise known as a pet  owner - if Fido or Fluffy is on equal footing with their other possessions and most will say 'no.' Increasingly, dogs, cats and other companion animals are the subject of bitter custody fights when couples divorce, and are gaining the upper paw when it comes to estate planning. While the law classifies pets as property, it does … [Read more...]

Little dogs bring big changes to veterans’ lives

Patriots in their own words

They say it's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog. We'd suggest it's something slightly different: it's the size of the heart in the dog. So it is with two little dogs that are bringing big changes to the lives of the veterans who gave them a second chance at life. Vietnam veteran finally gets a 'thank you' Bob is a Vietnam Army veteran who served during a period in our nation's history when veterans symbolized a deeply unpopular war. There were no parades, no jubilant welcomes home, no thanks for a job well done. Their return was unceremonious at best … [Read more...]

Navy war veteran finds a real buddy in homeless dog

Buddy and Bill on a boat

This is the story of a Navy war veteran who finds a buddy, literally, in the form of a homeless shelter dog. bud-dy (noun): a good friend, companion or partner; a comrade. Buddy is truly the perfect name for the orphaned two year-old cockapoo who honorably adopted Bill, a Navy veteran, during a trip to Lollypop Farm in May 2011. Let’s be clear: Buddy chose Bill, not the other way around. Bill was merely at the Rochester, New York animal shelter to appease his wife, Michelle, who had been combing internet websites and nearby shelters for a furry companion to adopt. “We had talked about … [Read more...]

Abandonment unites airman and shelter dog

Ben and Siren

Veterans and service members who honorably adopt shelter pets through our program often speak about the empathy they have for their last-chance dog or cat. Many feel isolated, lonely and unwanted, and tell us how they can relate to the animals they ultimately save. Ben and Siren formed a strong bond through the abandonment they each experienced in their lives. Ben is a Staff Sargeant in the Air Force. Stationed at Langley Air Force Base (AFB) for six years, he works the stealth coatings for the F-22. Like many military personnel, Ben serves where the military needs him; throughout his career … [Read more...]

“Pathetic-looking” rescue dog saves disabled veteran from depression

Frank and Gus

When depression took its toll on a disabled Vietnam veteran whose dog had just died, he knew it was time to save another last-chance rescue dog. In the process, he saved himself. Born in Chicago, Frank was a toddler when his family moved to the San Francisco Bay Area. In 1973, he relocated to San Diego, a place where he loves to live and volunteer. In 1974, Frank joined the Navy reserves as a cryptology and radar specialist. He spent 20 months on an aircraft carrier off the Vietnam coast and the remainder of his enlistment as assistant to an admiral in Miramar, California. “I never drilled … [Read more...]