A veteran, a dog and one amazing tale

Gizmo and his new family

If you spend much time with a war veteran discussing his experience, he will invariably mention how the worst part of it was losing so many of his best friends. And, if you listen to a pet owner discuss losing a pet, you will hear a similar refrain: “I feel like I’ve lost my best friend.” It’s a sentiment tinged with sadness and loneliness – a sense of loss and being lost. Tim Peterman knows both all too well. As a veteran of WWII who recently lost his beloved Shih-Tzu, Gizmo, he didn’t know what to do with himself without his buddy. He lost his bearings. His daughter, Sandra, saw the pain. … [Read more...]

Marine veteran saves four-legged life at home

Fernando and Ellie

 After three tours of duty, a Marine Corps veteran saves a four-legged life when he adds a last-chance dog to his military family. Our thanks to Fernando for sharing their story with us. My name is Fernando and my family and I live in Southern California on Camp Pendleton. I am active duty in the Marine Corps. My wife and I have two little girls ages two and four who love animals. I figured it was the perfect time to add a member to our family since I am not deploying and will be home for the next two to three years. So what a better time then now. I joined the Marine Corps in 2006 and have … [Read more...]

Stigma and superstition plague black pets

black cat

Pity the black dog or black cat waiting when it comes to pet adoption; they have an additional challenge: Black Dog/Black Cat Syndrome. There are many myths, superstitions and stigmas surrounding cats and dogs of the darkest color. For instance, did you know that a black cat crossing your path from right to left is bad luck, but from left to right is said to be good? Were you aware that, according to ancient folklore, the apparitions of black dogs were believed to be the unquiet ghosts of wicked souls? Did you know as well that here and now, in modern times, black dogs and cats are the last … [Read more...]

Three’s family with three-legged dog

Astrid's adoption

Astrid is a three-legged special needs dog honorably adopted by two Air Force service members, Kristina and Johnathon. Her story illustrates why Pets for Patriots is so committed to the adoption of last-chance pets by military families. Our thanks to Kristina for sharing their story with us. I met my husband through the Air Force. We are both enlisted currently stationed at Langley. We fell in love instantly and just work well together. I recently lost my grandmother who was like a mother to me. I was heartbroken. Not long after I had to have surgery on my ankle, resulting in three screws … [Read more...]

What is a service animal?

Service dog

At Pets for Patriots, we get calls from service members, veterans and their caregivers requesting our help to secure service dogs, usually for PTSD. But when we ask if the individual would be better served by a well-mannered companion dog or cat, we're always asked, "What's the difference?" We're so glad you asked. First, a little context. According to the Defense Department, more than 46,000 U.S. military personnel have been wounded in action in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars since March, 2003. The incidence of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), depression … [Read more...]

How pets improve your health

Woman and dog

Companion pets do more than make us smile; they're actually good for our health. From reduced incidence of depression, lower blood pressure and overall stress reduction, a four-legged friend might be the best health plan money can’t buy. At Pets for Patriots, we advocate for the adoption of "last-chance" pets that face near-certain death if not adopted: dogs and cats two years or older, dogs 40+ pounds regardless of age, and special needs pets. Collectively, these are animals that are most often overlooked in shelters, but that have many years of love and life to give. And because most are … [Read more...]

Dogs help spouse survive military life

Buddy

This is written by Kristen Lee Qunell, proud military spouse and Pets for Patriots volunteer. Recipe for a military spouse: 1 1/2 cups patience 1 lb. adaptability 3/4 cup tolerance 1 tsp. courage Dash of adventure Combine the above ingredients. Add 2 tablespoons of elbow grease. Marinate frequently with salty tears. Pour off excess fat. Sprinkle lightly with money. Season the mixture with international spices. "Knead" the dough until payday. Bake 20 years, or until done. ***** I came across this recipe recently while browsing around online and found it quite clever. After I thought … [Read more...]

About military working dog adoptions

MWD in Iraq

Our recent post about Rocky, a retired, disabled military working dog who was saved by our appeal, exposed a lot of misconceptions about the fate of military working dogs once they're retired from service. Most of these animals are eligible for adoption and are placed into appropriate and loving homes. Until recently, it was legal and common practice to abandon or put down military working dogs, known as MWDs, at the end of their useful service. Historically viewed as "surplus equipment," they weren't seen as having value beyond the military purpose for which they were trained. That mindset … [Read more...]

Luke and Astro looking for love

Best friends forever

Luke and Astro are two shelter dogs hoping to find a love connection with a military veteran. While they long for their forever home, they're being cared for by Quincy Animal Shelter, just south of Boston, and are eligible for an ongoing 20% discount off veterinary care if adopted by a member of our charitable program.   Luke is a young Boxer/Pit Bull mix who loves to play fetch and lead an active lifestyle. If you like to go jogging or take long walks - or even really long walks! - he just might be the perfect companion for you. He would do well in a household with kids over 16 years … [Read more...]

Retired disabled military dog Rocky dies if not adopted; UPDATE: Rocky is saved!

Give now to help others last chance pets like Rocky

                    Pets for Patriots is a small charity, but we were able to mobilize 42,393 people* to save Rocky, a three-tour Iraq war canine veteran (*as of 8:15pm ET 8/18/11). Your donations are needed to save more pets like Rocky: dogs and cats who will never become an overnight internet sensation or have major news media vying to tell their tale. These "last chance" pets - adult and other at-risk shelter dogs and cats - face near-certain death if not adopted. We connect them to veterans and service members who need a new pet … [Read more...]