Hero Tails: stories worth sharing

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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...]

Rescue dog a loyal first mate to Navy sailor

Sarah and Leo

Leo was a large rescue dog looking for love in a Virginia Beach shelter when a young Navy sailor gave them both a new lease on life. Little is known about the large Beagle mix who, when adopted in early November of 2013, was already a healthy 44 pounds. The rescue dog's personality and zest for life caught the attention of Sarah, who at the age of 23 had already served four-and-a-half years in the Navy. Originally from North Carolina and now stationed in Virginia, Sarah decided that her transition to shore duty was the perfect time to add a companion pet to her life. Joining the Navy to see … [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...]

Air Force couple and rescue dog make beautiful music together

Dan Lori and Cash

An Air Force husband-and-wife team traveled the world as military musicians, and are now singing a different tune with their first-ever rescue dog. This is their story, told in their own words. Hello! We are Dan and Lori from Omaha, Nebraska. We are both retired United States Air Force veterans who proudly served 26 and 21 years as musicians in the USAF military bands. Our careers took us all over the world performing music for our military members and civilian communities. It was an exciting part of our lives and we are grateful to have served our country in that capacity.  As you can … [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...]

Marine veteran saves shelter dog “no one wants”

Angela and Rose

A Marine Corps veteran draws upon lessons learned in the military to save, and be saved, by a shelter dog who was overlooked and unwanted. Angela joined the United States Marine Corps in 1992. She was stationed at Camp Lejeune with the 2nd Force Service Support Group and served as a Legal Services Specialist until the end of her contract in 1996. Over the five years that followed, she gave birth to her son and daughter, respectively, and welcomed to the family Ladie - a Black Labrador mix - who eventually passed away at the age of 13. After losing Ladie, dealing with divorce and several … [Read more...]