Little dogs bring big changes to veterans’ lives

Patriots in their own words

They say it's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog. We'd suggest it's something slightly different: it's the size of the heart in the dog. So it is with two little dogs that are bringing big changes to the lives of the veterans who gave them a second chance at life. Vietnam veteran finally gets a 'thank you' Bob is a Vietnam Army veteran who served during a period in our nation's history when veterans symbolized a deeply unpopular war. There were no parades, no jubilant welcomes home, no thanks for a job well done. Their return was unceremonious at best … [Read more...]

How to manage your pet’s veterinary bills

dvm with cat

If it seems like your pet's veterinary bills are taking a bigger bite out of your wallet, you're probably right. Pet health care costs are on the rise, much like those for their human family members.  With medical and food costs representing the two largest pet care expenditures, many people are looking for help with their veterinary bills. Average annual pet care costs Whether you already have a pet or are thinking about getting one, it's important to add pet care as a line item in your family budget. While costs vary by species, breed, size, age, overall health, region of the country and … [Read more...]

Is breed-specific legislation for on-base pet owners way off-base?

Pittie white and brown

Breed-specific legislation affecting military pet owners can have serious consequences for dogs targeted by these laws. Dogs wreaking havoc on a neighborhood is a real and serious issue for some communities across the country. In response, lawmakers have enacted Breed Specific Legislation (BSL), more commonly known as “breed bans,” which effectively outlaw certain types of dogs. BSL originated in the 1980s, with pit bulls as the primary target. As the result of serious and even occasionally fatal dog attacks, BSL swept the nation, infiltrating communities that felt compelled to regulate … [Read more...]

Dogs give new life to disabled veteran and military spouse

Tank Scout and dad

 This is a story shared with us by a disabled veteran and military spouse whose two dogs, Tank and Scout, give her a renewed sense of purpose in life. Our thanks to Misty her service and for sharing her experiences with us. We wish her husband a safe and speedy return home and thank him for his continued service as well. ***** I am disabled veteran and wife of a Staff Sergeant (SSG) in the Army who is currently deployed in Afghanistan. My health has not been good and there is only one thing that makes me want to face each day:  the love my dogs give me and my love for them. Pets can truly be … [Read more...]

Navy war veteran finds a real buddy in homeless dog

Buddy and Bill on a boat

This is the story of a Navy war veteran who finds a buddy, literally, in the form of a homeless shelter dog. bud-dy (noun): a good friend, companion or partner; a comrade. Buddy is truly the perfect name for the orphaned two year-old cockapoo who honorably adopted Bill, a Navy veteran, during a trip to Lollypop Farm in May 2011. Let’s be clear: Buddy chose Bill, not the other way around. Bill was merely at the Rochester, New York animal shelter to appease his wife, Michelle, who had been combing internet websites and nearby shelters for a furry companion to adopt. “We had talked about … [Read more...]

How to keep your pet safe in winter weather

Dog with red ball

You can keep your pet safe in winter weather by following some basic tips to help your dog or cat negotiate the perils of the season. The harsh reality of winter has nearly everyone feeling the chill, including your pets. At Pets for Patriots, we picked through many of the helpful lists on how to keep your four-legged friends safe, healthy and warm this winter to bring you an abbreviated set of easy, mostly common sense suggestions for winter pet care. Good for you, good for your petOf course, you could keep your pet inside until the spring thaw arrives, but that’s not practical or terribly … [Read more...]

Pets for Patriots shelters get Freekibble holiday gift

Screen Shot 2012-01-10 at 9.03.37 AM

Four-paw salute to our friends at Freekibble for their generous donation of Halo pet food to five Pets for Patriots adoption partners around the country!  The Freekibble Holiday Koast-to-Koast Kibble Drop delivered 40 tons - yes, that's 80,000 pounds! - of all natural, delicious and nutritious Halo Spot's Stew to animal shelters in need. That adds up to an impressive 400,000 meals served to homeless dogs and cats hoping to be adopted. The last piece of kibble was delivered just before the Christmas holiday, benefiting more than 40 animal welfare groups from the East to West coasts, and many … [Read more...]

Abandonment unites airman and shelter dog

Ben and Siren

Veterans and service members who honorably adopt shelter pets through our program often speak about the empathy they have for their last-chance dog or cat. Many feel isolated, lonely and unwanted, and tell us how they can relate to the animals they ultimately save. Ben and Siren formed a strong bond through the abandonment they each experienced in their lives. Ben is a Staff Sargeant in the Air Force. Stationed at Langley Air Force Base (AFB) for six years, he works the stealth coatings for the F-22. Like many military personnel, Ben serves where the military needs him; throughout his career … [Read more...]

“Pathetic-looking” rescue dog saves disabled veteran from depression

Frank and Gus

When depression took its toll on a disabled Vietnam veteran whose dog had just died, he knew it was time to save another last-chance rescue dog. In the process, he saved himself. Born in Chicago, Frank was a toddler when his family moved to the San Francisco Bay Area. In 1973, he relocated to San Diego, a place where he loves to live and volunteer. In 1974, Frank joined the Navy reserves as a cryptology and radar specialist. He spent 20 months on an aircraft carrier off the Vietnam coast and the remainder of his enlistment as assistant to an admiral in Miramar, California. “I never drilled … [Read more...]

Retired disabled Army dog needs help to walk again

Koady and Santo

Santo is a disabled, retired bomb-sniffing dog recently discharged from the Army and barely able to use his hind legs. His handler and now owner is a three-tour combat veteran of both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars who, in spite of being recently discharged and currently unemployed, adopted the military working dog (MWD) when he learned that he was going to be killed. Koady, his then-handler and now owner, knows that Santo's keen nose saved the lives of many of his fellow soldiers - including his own. Santo's problems starting during his tour in Afghanistan. He was eventually returned to the … [Read more...]