Combat veteran adapts to civilian life with second-chance Pit Bull pup

Chase (Montrell) and the girls_cropped

It was a tough decision for an Army combat veteran to bring a Pit Bull into his young family, but his decision to give the much-maligned breed a second chance paid off for all involved.  Army strong, Army proud One year after the 9/11 terror attacks Montrell joined the United States Army. It was September 2002 when he enlisted and was subsequently stationed at Fort Stewart, Georgia with the 3rd Infantry Division. Formed in 1917, the unit has become one of our nation's top military units for dealing with contingencies around the world. Early in 2003 Montrell arrived at Fort Stewart March … [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...]

From homeless to hopeful for Army veteran and abused dog

Desiree and Bullet 2

Desiree is an Army veteran who has triumphed over adversity more than once in her lifetime, including a time when she was homeless. Her inner strength and ability to persevere are qualities she shares with Bullet, an abused dog who chose the veteran above all others. A spontaneous decision Desiree calls her decision to join the Army one weekend in 1981 a “spontaneous decision.” She was 20 years old and “just wanted to get away and see the world.” This impromptu career move resulted in three years of Cold War-era service as an administrative specialist – or “glorified typist,” as Desiree … [Read more...]

Retired Coastie saves triply-disabled shelter dog

Mark and Charlie at shelter

Special needs animals are among the most overlooked for adoption, and this was particularly the case for a triply-disabled dog in a Virginia shelter. Luckily for this pup, a retired Coast Guard veteran - or "Coastie" - was up to the challenge. Serving at sea Starting with his enlistment in 1987 and for 24 subsequent years, Mark was 'always ready' as a member of the United States Coast Guard (USCG). He became a Coastie for simple and compelling reasons.  "I joined to serve my country," he says, "and work at sea." Mark was initially stationed in New Bedford, Massachusetts aboard a USCG … [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...]

Loss bonds grieving Army veteran and senior shelter cat

Jonathan and Tessa on floor_square

Jonathan can easily pinpoint the most difficult moment of his life: watching his 12 year-old cat Ziggy pass away in his arms. Despite his loss, the Army veteran was unwilling to let grief consume him. He made a decision to honor Ziggy's life by opening his heart to a senior shelter cat - a tortoiseshell beauty named Tessa. Army strong Jonathan joined the Army Reserves in February of 2005 in order to become an x-ray technologist. After undergoing Basic Training in Fort Knox, Kentucky, he completed his Advanced Individual Training (AIT) while serving at Fort Sam Houston, Texas and Fort … [Read more...]

Marine veteran and adopted cat thrive on chaos

Charles, family and Quill

Charles is a Marine Corps veteran who served from 2001-2010, during which time he was deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan. Honorably discharged as Sergeant, he shares his story about an adopted cat who loves, and helps create, chaos in his multi-pet home. We appreciate our partnership with Macon County Animal Control and Care Center for their help in making this Marine family complete. Send in the...cats? Pets for Patriots has added a new member to our family and genuinely brought a fair amount of joy to our everyday lives. First I need to admit that I was never a fan of cats. They’re … [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...]

Pit Bull dog in shelter for more than 450 days til Army war veteran brings him home

Patrick and Oliver

A Pit Bull dog who spent more than 450 days in a shelter, more than half of his life, is rescued by an Army war veteran coping with PTSD who found purpose in companion pets despite not being sure he was ready to care for them. Go ahead, kid; make my day Patrick enlisted in the Army to follow in the footsteps of his stepfather, uncle and grandfathers. “They served their country and I couldn’t think of a better way to honor their service than to sign up myself,” he says. “I can drive a variety of vehicles and was assigned to a postal unit overseas. I transported incoming mail throughout … [Read more...]

Little rescue dog gives Vietnam veteran “a reason to live”

Andrew and Scooby

Scooby is a little rescue dog with big paws to fill: curing the aching heart of a Vietnam veteran following the death of his senior dog.  For his entire life, Andrew has been a natural caretaker. He ministered to both of his parents during their final years, but after his 12 year-old Labradoodle died he did not think that he could care for another dog. Yet in time he was not just alone, but lonely - and knew that a companion pet would change his world for the better.  A man of peace during a time of war In 1962, Andrew enlisted in the U.S. Army and he served for three years as a … [Read more...]