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...]

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...]

Navy-Air Force veteran saves life of “angel sent from up above”

Kyle and Cam_square

Proud to serve, by sea or by air Kyle is a veteran of both the Navy and the Air Force. His guiding ethos is to fight for the rights of people and pets who cannot fight for themselves. A recent college graduate and current Air Force Reservist, Kyle is working through a management program with a major, multi-regional supermarket chain. However, it is abundantly clear that service to country is part of this veteran's DNA.  "I entered the military having the desire to give back in some way even if I did not go active," he says. "I feel the need to give something back to America, and still … [Read more...]

Chance meeting inspires Navy veteran to save homeless dog

Elizabeth and Roxie kiss

The last thing Elizabeth had on her mind was adding a homeless dog to her household, but a chance meeting between the Navy veteran and a Chihuahua mix with "the saddest eyes" changed everything.  Serving in the wake of 9/11 Elizabeth served for four years in the Navy as a Cryptology Technical Operator (CTO), during which time she was stationed at the Diego Garcia military base in the British Indian Ocean, and with the Naval Security Group Activity (NSGA) Kunia in Hawaii. The NSGA Kunia was de-established shortly after Elizabeth separated from service, and integrated into what would become … [Read more...]

Vietnam veteran earns his stripes saving shelter dogs

Robert Baxter and Blue_square

The quiet hero A hero is defined as 'a person who is admired for great or brave acts or fine qualities.' They do not all receive medals or public accolades, but walk among us every day and deserve to have their stories told. Such is the case with Robert, a Navy veteran who served in Vietnam and feels his own story is unremarkable. He is not a decorated war hero. The shelter dogs he adopted during the course of his lifetime did not help him with any service-connected disabilities. Yet this Vietnam veteran's love for and commitment to saving the most overlooked animals in need makes him a … [Read more...]

Navy veteran helps dog go from chained to cherished

Leia (Conor) beore rescue

A chained life is no life The plights of chained and tethered dogs are often overlooked because people fail to recognize them as potential cases of animal cruelty. In truth, these practices can lead to severe psychological and physical damage and, in some cases, death. Thanks to the actions of many, including a Navy veteran who joined Pets for Patriots with the intent of adopting a companion, a once-chained dog in Virginia was saved from her cruel existence.  Now a cherished member of the family, the Australian Shepherd mix is learning for the first time what is means to be free and to … [Read more...]

Anchors aweigh! Navy family gives new leash on life to two senior dogs

Terry and Sox

Despite the many advantages of adopting older and senior pets, the odds are still stacked against more mature shelter animals. Yet for one lucky 12 year-old dog named Sox, his ship came in when he was adopted by a Navy family to keep company with their other senior dog. Old dogs, old friends Terry always dreamed about serving in the military, and in 2009 he made that dream a reality when he enlisted in the Navy. Initially stationed in Florida, he moved with his family to Virginia Beach for Permanent Change of Station (PCS), where he lives with his wife, Jessie, their four year-old son, … [Read more...]

Love conquers all for widowed Navy veteran and abused shelter dog

John and Kandi

They say that time heals all wounds, but for John, a widowed Navy veteran, it took a lot of love as well to help a once-abused dog overcome her fears and live the life she deserved. A waterman joins the Navy John always harbored a passion for the water and sailing. In 1962, after graduating high school, John enlisted in the United States Navy as a quartermaster and served for two years active duty before transitioning to the Naval Reserves for another three.  He recalls fondly earlier times when people used the stars to navigate, an art long lost to GPS.  Although he misses those days he … [Read more...]

Dog left to die in drain pipe adopted by Navy veteran who knows pain of abandonment

Jim and Willow

Willow was a terrified terrier dog who was found living in a drain pipe with her three puppies, one of whom froze to death. She was ultimately rescued and adopted by a Navy veteran who still grapples with the pain of his own abandonment many decades ago.  Feeling their pain After more than 30 years of service in the Navy and a long career in civilian law enforcement, James is enjoying a well-deserved retirement in the North Carolina mountains. The Vietnam veteran holds an Extra Class License for ham radio and runs his own radio network named “The County Cousins." James' real passion, … [Read more...]

How a shelter dog made me a better human

Joe grandson and Marley_400

Joe is a Navy Corpsman who served in Vietnam and became a better person thanks to an adult shelter dog named Marley. This is their story, in Joe's own words. Our thanks to our partners at the Sacramento SPCA for helping us make this story possible. Mission not impossible: be a better human About four years ago I began a long and arduous path back to good health. Many years of inactivity, overeating, denial, stinkin’ thinkin’ and misbehaving created someone I no longer liked. With inspiration from my son Anthony and grandson Joey to live a very long life, I sought help from the Veterans … [Read more...]