PTSD veteran saved by once-abused one-eyed dog

Matthew and Eli

For one veteran coping with PTSD and depression, his saving grace came in the form of a one-eyed dog who had been previously abused. This is his story, in his own words. *** My name is Matthew Goschke; I'm born and raised in Rochester, New York. I've lived here my whole life besides my experiences with the military. I currently run security for the City of Rochester, loss prevention for The Home Depot and am pursuing my paramedic degree. After my military service I found integrating back into civilian life a lot more difficult then I had anticipated. Light at the end of a "very dark" … [Read more...]

Navy family sails high with rescued dog at helm

Macy and Tyler

Deployment can be tough on Navy and other military families, but a companion pet can make for smoother sailing. This is the experience of one Pets for Patriots adopter who decided to adopt a shelter dog to give his wife comfort when he deploys out to sea. Tyler is a 23 year-old active duty member of the United States Navy. He joined the service six years ago and has been stationed in San Diego on the USS Peleliu LHA-5, an amphibious assault ship. He served three deployments, one humanitarian mission and two West Pacific missions, earning a Navy Achievement Medal during his second … [Read more...]

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...]

11 signs of animal cruelty and how you can help

starving dog

Animal cruelty is not only abhorrent in its own right, but is often tied to other offenses, including violence against adults and children.  Black’ s Law Dictionary defines cruelty to animals as: “The infliction of physical pain, suffering, or death upon an animal, when not necessary for purposes of training or discipline or (in the case of death) to procure food or to release the animal from incurable suffering, but done wantonly, for mere sport, for the indulgence of a cruel and vindictive temper, or with reckless indifference to its pain.”  Save animals from needless suffering by learning … [Read more...]

Teen gives all for veterans and pets

Shelter drive

One San Diego teen is taking the idea of service to heart by making life better veterans, military personnel and homeless pets in her community.  Gabi Mark joined Pets for Patriots as a youth volunteer and has since touched countless lives by reaching out to veterans and shelter animals across San Diego County. After joining our cause in the fall, Gabi has accomplished three major projects towards her goal of devoting 100 hours to charity this year. A junior at Hilltop High School in Chula Vista, leader of her local Girls' League service organization and member of the girls' basketball team, … [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...]

What is pet fostering?

shelter dog

Pet fostering provides temporary care to shelter animals who, for a variety of reasons, need to live in a home environment prior to adoption. While pet fostering is ideal for some people, it's not for everyone. Why foster homes are needed Animal welfare organizations work to place lost, abandoned, abused and relinquished animals in forever homes, which helps relieve overcrowding and reduces an animal’s stress by providing a temporary and supportive sanctuary while it awaits permanent adoption. People who need care for their pets due to emergency or disaster rely on pet fosters while they … [Read more...]

Shepherd rescue joins Coast Guard veteran’s ‘wild bunch’

blake-will-1

For one particular Coast Guard veteran, a quirky, adopted Shepherd dog made his family's 'wild bunch' just a little bit more wild - and joyful.  For the past 23 years, Will has been working as a dispatcher for the Detroit police and fire departments. During his prior Coast Guard service, he was stationed in Hawaii, traveled to Alaska on patrol, attended the Navy Electronics School near Chicago and served on a Lake Erie, Ohio search-and-rescue team. Will always had pets growing up, usually multiple cats and dogs at the same time. One of his memories is about Brownie, a German Shepherd Saint … [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...]

Listen up! Deaf pets are great pets

visual command to dog

Living with a deaf pet brings unique joy and challenges, though these dogs and cats typically have a harder time getting adopted. At Pets for Patriots, our program is dedicated exclusively to connecting military personnel with pets that are most overlooked for adoption, including adults, large breed dogs and special needs dogs and cats. This includes animals that are hearing and sight impaired, and who are no less deserving of a loving home. How pets lose their hearing A hearing-impaired animal might not have been born deaf, but may have lost its hearing due to illness, traumatic injury, … [Read more...]