Career Air Force veteran saves bonded pair of strays

Laura Petunia and Pinky_square

Laura might as well have walked into a Tennessee animal shelter and said, "Make mine a double." The career Air Force veteran, now serving in the Air National Guard, adopted a bonded pair of dogs found running the streets as strays. Decades of dedication You could say that military service runs deep in Laura's veins. Now living in Tennessee, the Air Force veteran served for more than seven years active duty as a missile systems technician, and since 1989 has been serving full-time in the Air National Guard as an avionics technician on the KC135R aircraft. Collectively, Laura has more than … [Read more...]

Bronze Star Air Force veteran rescues dog who rescues others

Gregory-and-Ben_cropped_2-e1448920760548

Greg was awarded a Bronze Star for his heroic service in combat, but it is the Air Force veteran's decision to rescue an abandoned homeless dog that is closest to his heart. Finding direction in the military Like many young men and women, Greg was a teen without a clear direction for his future. His grandfather was a pilot, though not in the military, and his father an Army veteran. "I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with my life," he says of his younger self, "so I went into the Air Force straight out of high school." It was 1985 and Greg was just 16 years old when he enlisted; he … [Read more...]

Dog no one wanted a savior to Marine veteran with PTSD

James and Layla

PTSD and me James is a Marine Corps veteran with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) who for much of his post-military life relied on the kindness of loved ones. One day he decided to pay it forward by saving the life of a love-starved shelter dog no one wanted. "I have been a Marine who has gone through life with everyone helping him after serving," he says, "regardless of my inability to be around a large group of people, [or] being overly alert or distant." Despite these and other life challenges, James was slow to recognize that he had PTSD. He describes a situation in which he … [Read more...]

Pit Bull helps Afghanistan veteran go from battlefront to home front

Aaron and Waffles napping

It's a hard-knock, post-Army life Ask veterans of Iraq or Afghanistan about their greatest challenge and many will say the adjustment from battlefront to home front. One such veteran has an adopted Pit Bull to thank for helping him make the transition to his post-Army life.  Dunkin was a relatively young and fairly large Pit Bull waiting for his second chance at an Alabama shelter. In reality, Pit Bulls are not a breed unto themselves, but are comprised of a variety of dog breeds with similar physical traits. They are among the most misunderstood types of dogs and, as a result, most prone … [Read more...]

Dog of fallen soldier in desperate need of a home

Rambo 2

On this Veterans' Day 2015 we received word that a young hero died after serving our country and now his dog is in desperate need of a home. Rambo's soldier dad adopted him as a pup after returning from deployment. We hear that getting a dog was the first thing on his mind when he came home, and at Pets for Patriots we know the healing power of companion pets for our veterans and military service members. Tragically, three years later Rambo's soldier was killed after returning from combat deployment. Grief stricken, this hero's parents took Rambo in. Not only would their son have … [Read more...]

Pint-sized pup to the rescue of lonely lady sailor

Kelsey USN and Bruce Wayne_cropped

It's often said that good things come in small packages. This proved true for one pint-sized shelter pup who came to the rescue of a lonely Navy sailor looking for some four-legged love. It's a small world after all Kelsey grew up in Kansas and in 2012 enlisted in the Navy. She was stationed aboard the USS Pearl Harbor LSD-52 in San Diego before receiving Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders to MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida. Leaving California meant leaving a close personal connection, as well. "My boyfriend is a Marine stationed at Camp Pendleton in San Diego," she … [Read more...]

And dog makes three: twice surrendered dog completes Air Force family

John and Ajax_edited

Donner was a big, energetic Labrador Retriever mix in a Florida shelter. Surrendered twice within his first year of life, he repaid the disabled Air Force veteran who adopted him by completing his young family and helping him regain his health.  Love is in the air John fell in love while stationed in the United Kingdom as a member of the United States Air Force, during which time he served in both Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. When he eventually returned to the United States he was accompanied by not only a wife, but a new baby as well. Injuring his leg “ranks high up on the … [Read more...]

Train derailment leads to adoption of one very unwanted dog

Scott and Buck_square

Buck was a homeless dog who nobody seemed to want, repeatedly adopted and then surrendered to a Tennessee shelter over the course of his relatively short life. As unlikely as it sounds, a train derailment set off a chain of events that led to his final adoption despite his foster family having no intention to keep him. Early in July, 2015, a train carrying toxic cargo derailed in Eastern Tennessee, forcing the evacuation of more than 5,000 people in the surrounding area. Blount County Animal Center was in the impact zone, and asked its volunteers to foster the dogs in their care until it was … [Read more...]

Rescue dog saves retired airman from “a bad case of lonely”

Charles and Sophie adopted

Ending a multi-decade career can be tough. One veteran airman found that a rescue dog saved him from the loneliness and boredom that plagued him after he retired from the workforce, and helped him honor the memory of a recently departed pet. Airman’s dream career Charles worked hard his entire life. The father of three served in the United States Air Force for more than 30 years before retiring to part-time jobs. Major surgery led to his full retirement, and he currently gets around with the help of a motorized wheelchair.  It was 1969 when Charles enlisted in the Tennessee National … [Read more...]

Special needs pup a lifeline to Navy veteran dogged by depression

Mark and Shadow

Hard knock life for stray pup Shadow is a pup who earns the moniker "special" not only due to her physical challenges, but for how she is able to uplift the Navy veteran who adopted her from the grips of his depression. The Lab mix was not even a year old when she arrived at the Jacksonville Humane Society with serious signs of a hardscrabble life. Shadow had been transferred from another shelter where her tail had to be amputated due to a pre-existing degloving injury. Follow up radiographs revealed that her right hind leg was broken in not one, but two places, requiring additional medical … [Read more...]