Navy veteran helps dog go from chained to cherished

Leia (Conor) beore rescue

A chained life is no life The plights of chained and tethered dogs are often overlooked because people fail to recognize them as potential cases of animal cruelty. In truth, these practices can lead to severe psychological and physical damage and, in some cases, death. Thanks to the actions of many, including a Navy veteran who joined Pets for Patriots with the intent of adopting a companion, a once-chained dog in Virginia was saved from her cruel existence.  Now a cherished member of the family, the Australian Shepherd mix is learning for the first time what is means to be free and to … [Read more...]

Veteran who overcame personal odds adopts dog left to die in city street

Shawn and Crixus

Shawn is a dual Air Force and Army veteran who overcame tremendous personal odds in her life. It was perhaps not surprising when she adopted a dog named Crixus who was left to die by a heinous act of animal cruelty. This is their story. From high school dropout to Army officer I was a high school dropout and living on my own at the age of 15, when I was kicked out of my house by my step-father. I weathered the storm, got my GED and joined the military as soon as I could at age 18.  Thirty years have gone by and lots of life lessons, but throughout it all I've always had a great love for all … [Read more...]

Love conquers all for widowed Navy veteran and abused shelter dog

John and Kandi

They say that time heals all wounds, but for John, a widowed Navy veteran, it took a lot of love as well to help a once-abused dog overcome her fears and live the life she deserved. A waterman joins the Navy John always harbored a passion for the water and sailing. In 1962, after graduating high school, John enlisted in the United States Navy as a quartermaster and served for two years active duty before transitioning to the Naval Reserves for another three.  He recalls fondly earlier times when people used the stars to navigate, an art long lost to GPS.  Although he misses those days he … [Read more...]

Dog left to die in drain pipe adopted by Navy veteran who knows pain of abandonment

Jim and Willow

Willow was a terrified terrier dog who was found living in a drain pipe with her three puppies, one of whom froze to death. She was ultimately rescued and adopted by a Navy veteran who still grapples with the pain of his own abandonment many decades ago.  Feeling their pain After more than 30 years of service in the Navy and a long career in civilian law enforcement, James is enjoying a well-deserved retirement in the North Carolina mountains. The Vietnam veteran holds an Extra Class License for ham radio and runs his own radio network named “The County Cousins." James' real passion, … [Read more...]

Air Force veteran saves neglected old dog to give her the life she deserves

Zee and Shelley_400

It's a story with a sad refrain: a neglected old dog (or old cat) sits alone in a shelter, hoping for a second chance at life. For one such dog in a rural Tennessee community, that second chance came in the form of a retired Air Force veteran and longtime animal lover. In the company of dogs Growing up on a farm in a small town in Pennsylvania, Zelva - who likes to be called Zee - always had a strong connection with animals. “They have been a comfort to me most of my life,” she says. Long after her retirement from the military, Zee finally had time to volunteer and dedicate her life … [Read more...]

Army veteran adopts blind three-legged dog crippled by animal cruelty

Crixus (Shawn) closeup_400

There are few happy endings for dogs and cats who are the subjects of human cruelty. Luckily for a then six week-old puppy left to die in the streets of Detroit, his hero came in the person of an Army veteran who learned about his story and felt compelled to save him.  Our partners at the Michigan Humane Society received a call about a dog who had possibly been hit by a car. Upon examination, it was determined that the young Shepherd mix had been shot with a BB gun. The dog's x-rays revealed a BB lodged next to the his spine, rendering one of his hind legs completely useless. Unable to … [Read more...]

Disabled Air Force veteran and “prison dog” put hard times behind them

Jason and Dixie

Disabled as a result of an injury during service, an Air Force veteran started his long healing journey - alone. But a sweet, shy hound in a prison dog training program changed everything, and the pair works daily to put their sad pasts behind them.  A proud career cut short Jason comes from a heritage of military service. His father served in the Air Force for twenty years and, in June of 2005, Jason enlisted with the expectation that he would serve his country for the next two decades as well.  Unfortunately, the young veteran's career as an Air Force structural mechanic was cut short … [Read more...]

Understanding the “special” in special needs pets

Jeffrey (active duty Navy) and Gucci

Special needs pets are among the most challenging for shelters and rescue groups to adopt out,  and many never find a loving home. Yet your perfect companion might just have her own pair of wheels to get around, or rely on visual commands instead of verbal ones.Three legs, one eye and limitless loveIn a survey conducted by Petfinder, it was found that these dogs and cats often wait four times longer than average to be adopted – a long time spent without a family, security and unconditional love, and all due to reasons beyond the animal’s control. These dogs and cats are overlooked because of … [Read more...]

Mission accomplished: Army officer gives abandoned dog new leash on life

John and Izzie

It's mission accomplished for an Army Lieutenant Colonel whose compassion and sense of duty led him to give an abandoned dog a second chance at life. Izzie was found in an apartment without food, water or family, and spent nearly four months in the care of our partners at the Washington Humane Society. Despite attending numerous adoption events, no one took an interest in her until an Army officer saw what no one else could see. This is their story. +++ A storied Army career I initially began my military service as a junior in high school by enlisting into the New Hampshire Army National … [Read more...]

Vietnam veteran saves neglected dog slated for death

Hugh and Jo Jo closeup

Despite serving in Vietnam, Hugh never used the word "hero" to describe himself. But a neglected shelter dog marked for death would beg to differ: Hugh saved his life. "Jo Jo was chosen to be euthanized because he had been so neglected," says Hugh. "His teeth on the right side were rotten and he was so thin."  Long after Vietnam, Hugh moved from Kentucky to Florida with his wife, Linda. The veteran is a compassionate family man, and he and Linda are active in their local church. Together they have two sons, two daughters-in-law, six grandchildren and six great grandchildren, and consider … [Read more...]