Loss bonds grieving Army veteran and senior shelter cat

Jonathan and Tessa on floor_square

Jonathan can easily pinpoint the most difficult moment of his life: watching his 12 year-old cat Ziggy pass away in his arms. Despite his loss, the Army veteran was unwilling to let grief consume him. He made a decision to honor Ziggy's life by opening his heart to a senior shelter cat - a tortoiseshell beauty named Tessa. Army strong Jonathan joined the Army Reserves in February of 2005 in order to become an x-ray technologist. After undergoing Basic Training in Fort Knox, Kentucky, he completed his Advanced Individual Training (AIT) while serving at Fort Sam Houston, Texas and Fort … [Read more...]

Marine veteran and adopted cat thrive on chaos

Charles, family and Quill

Charles is a Marine Corps veteran who served from 2001-2010, during which time he was deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan. Honorably discharged as Sergeant, he shares his story about an adopted cat who loves, and helps create, chaos in his multi-pet home. We appreciate our partnership with Macon County Animal Control and Care Center for their help in making this Marine family complete. Send in the...cats? Pets for Patriots has added a new member to our family and genuinely brought a fair amount of joy to our everyday lives. First I need to admit that I was never a fan of cats. They’re … [Read more...]

Pit Bull dog in shelter for more than 450 days til Army war veteran brings him home

Patrick and Oliver

A Pit Bull dog who spent more than 450 days in a shelter, more than half of his life, is rescued by an Army war veteran coping with PTSD who found purpose in companion pets despite not being sure he was ready to care for them. Go ahead, kid; make my day Patrick enlisted in the Army to follow in the footsteps of his stepfather, uncle and grandfathers. “They served their country and I couldn’t think of a better way to honor their service than to sign up myself,” he says. “I can drive a variety of vehicles and was assigned to a postal unit overseas. I transported incoming mail throughout … [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...]

How a shelter dog made me a better human

Joe grandson and Marley_400

Joe is a Navy Corpsman who served in Vietnam and became a better person thanks to an adult shelter dog named Marley. This is their story, in Joe's own words. Our thanks to our partners at the Sacramento SPCA for helping us make this story possible. Mission not impossible: be a better human About four years ago I began a long and arduous path back to good health. Many years of inactivity, overeating, denial, stinkin’ thinkin’ and misbehaving created someone I no longer liked. With inspiration from my son Anthony and grandson Joey to live a very long life, I sought help from the Veterans … [Read more...]

How to keep pets healthy during winter

Dog with big ears

Keeping pets active, safe and stimulated throughout the winter months promotes mental and physical health, and offers opportunities to strengthen bonds between person and pet. While pet parents might be content to curl up on the couch with a mug of hot cocoa and a movie daydreaming of warmer climes, dogs and cats need other ways to stave off winter boredom and physical complacency.  Winter pet safety Keep outdoor time to a minimum: Limit your pet’s outdoor time during the winter, especially when the temperature dips below freezing. Pets are at higher risk of frostbite, especially on … [Read more...]

Preparing your home and family for an adopted pet

Military couple and dog

You’ve done your research, budgeted for a new pet, visited animal shelters, found the perfect pet – and now you’re ready to bring your adopted pet home. However, your job as a pet parent is just beginning. You need to prepare your home  and family to help minimize your pet's stress and make it easier for him to adjust to his new life.  Like children, pets need structure and consistency, and will thrive in an environment where they know what is or is not permissible.  Providing a good home for a companion pet involves commitments to bonding, structure and discipline, quality care, safety and … [Read more...]

Three-strike dog makes home run with retired Navy veteran

Gail and Meli

Meli was a shelter dog with three strikes against her who scored a definite home run when she was adopted by a retired Navy veteran in Virginia.  For her entire life Gail always had pets. Growing up in Fayetteville, New York it was "at least two dogs at all times," yet it took four years from the death of her last dog in 2010 for the retired Navy veteran to feel ready to welcome another dog to her family. Deployments and dogs and cats, oh my! During her long career in the Navy, Gail "saw the world." In addition to being stationed across the United States, including Hawaii, she deployed to … [Read more...]

Benefits of adopting senior pets


Your new best friend might be anyone but new; he or she just might be a senior pet. November is National Adopt a Senior Pet Month and a time worth considering the many benefits of senior pet adoption. Mature dogs and cats have many advantages when compared to their younger counterparts, yet are often the first to face death or permanent homelessness as adopters overlook them in favor of puppies and kittens. How older pets end up in shelters in the first place While senior pets are in shelters for many of the same reasons as younger animals, they are often surrendered or abandoned simply … [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...]