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...]

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...]

Military family’s senior dog has date with destiny

Jim and dogs after morning run

One military family's senior dog seems to have had a date with destiny, giving credence to animal lovers who find their pets through rescue and adoption and who say they did not find their companions, but their companions found them. This is the story of one such pet. Archy had it made. He had been safely surrounded with love and care in the arms of a loving military family for 14 years. As is the case with most military families, Archy’s family had moved frequently, including two moves overseas. The dog had been through it all, but last year when his family got orders to fly overseas yet … [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...]

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...]

Changing lives coast to coast

Jacob, Sophie and family

When I wrote to you earlier this week I told you that we were changing lives coast to coast and had 60 honorable adoptions to celebrate. That number is now 62, and will likely grow in the coming days as a record number of veterans and service members are joining our program to give a last-chance pet a second chance at life. Since my earlier message, we had two adoptions that highight our growing national footprint. In upstate New York, Leland, a Navy veteran, honorably adopted an adult cat named Cow (yes, Cow!). On the other coast, a formerly stray Boxer mix named Sophie was saved by a … [Read more...]

Last-chance pets transform veterans’ lives

Kip & Céilidh

As 2011 draws to a close, we celebrate the 60 last-chance pets who are transforming the lives of veterans and service members in need. They're the adult dogs and cats, large dogs and special needs pets who faced near-certain death at a shelter if not adopted. Today, because of our organization and your support, they have a second chance at life. The human side of this story is no less dramatic. Sixty heroes from virtually every generational conflict: World War II, Vietnam, Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan. Men and women who have defended the cause of freedom in Bosnia, Lebanon, Grenada and countless … [Read more...]