Bronze Star veteran shines with four-legged battle buddy by his side

Chris and Darla

After three combat tours in Iraq, a Bronze Star Army veteran becomes a hero of a different stripe: to an adult dog who would become his new battle buddy as he transitioned to civilian life. Inspired to service by Vietnam War POW During nearly a decade of service, Chris traveled the world. Originally from Oklahoma, the young Army veteran started his military career at Fort Carson, Colorado with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team (BCT), 4th Infantry Division (ID). Over the years he would deploy to the Middle East,  and serve in more than a dozen countries around the globe before finishing his … [Read more...]

Healing at both ends of the leash for disabled veteran and special needs dog

Lizbeth (Dewey)_400

Dewey is a disabled Vietnam veteran who came to the realization that he "needed a therapy dog to help fight depression." At the same time he had a strong desire to help a dog in need, so he returned to the Michigan Humane Society where he and his wife had previously adopted companion pets. "I knew at the "Michigan Humane Society there was a dog that needed the therapy of a home and love," Dewey says. As it turns out that dog was Lizbeth: a 30-pound, nearly purebred Beagle with loving brown eyes.  The Vietnam veteran's first encounter with Lizbeth was nothing short of "love at first sight," … [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...]

Pets for Patriots and Dogs On Deployment team up to win Hero Dog Awards

Bram 2_400

Pets for Patriots and our friends at Dogs On Deployment (DoD) are proud to have been selected as charity partners in The American Humane Association’s Annual Hero Dog Awards, which honors the "often ordinary dogs who do extraordinary things" in eight distinct categories. Bram, a 2013 DoD Military Pet Of The Year (MPOTY), has been nominated in the Emerging Hero category and has chosen Pets for Patriots as his charity partner.  We are so honored that Bram has chosen to represent our life-saving program that helps veterans adopt the most overlooked shelter dogs and cats for mutual love and … [Read more...]

Iraq veteran adopts ‘Lucky’ canine companion to heal her war wounds

Star and Lucky with family_400

Star came from a military family and felt called to serve. But when the Iraq war veteran found herself gripped with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other trauma, it was an adopted companion dog - aptly named Lucky - who helped her cope with the wounds of war. “I never got back to being myself” Star grew up as a military brat.  "My entire family is military. It's all I've known my entire life," she explains. Enlisting in the Army right after high school and ROTC seem like the right choice. Yet Star found the experience to be overwhelming and was discharged just a few months … [Read more...]

Air Force veteran saves neglected old dog to give her the life she deserves

Zee and Shelley_400

It's a story with a sad refrain: a neglected old dog (or old cat) sits alone in a shelter, hoping for a second chance at life. For one such dog in a rural Tennessee community, that second chance came in the form of a retired Air Force veteran and longtime animal lover. In the company of dogs Growing up on a farm in a small town in Pennsylvania, Zelva - who likes to be called Zee - always had a strong connection with animals. “They have been a comfort to me most of my life,” she says. Long after her retirement from the military, Zee finally had time to volunteer and dedicate her life … [Read more...]

Army veteran adopts blind three-legged dog crippled by animal cruelty

Crixus (Shawn) closeup_400

There are few happy endings for dogs and cats who are the subjects of human cruelty. Luckily for a then six week-old puppy left to die in the streets of Detroit, his hero came in the person of an Army veteran who learned about his story and felt compelled to save him.  Our partners at the Michigan Humane Society received a call about a dog who had possibly been hit by a car. Upon examination, it was determined that the young Shepherd mix had been shot with a BB gun. The dog's x-rays revealed a BB lodged next to the his spine, rendering one of his hind legs completely useless. Unable to … [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...]

Sailor, soldier, savior: veteran enjoys life with adopted shelter dog

Keith and Otis

Keith enjoys the distinction of having served his country as a sailor and soldier, but these days his latest mission is giving a second leash on life to a shelter dog he calls his "buddy." At seventeen, Keith enlisted in the Navy Reserves. After completing basic training he was assigned to the USS Rushmore LSD-14, a WWII commissioned Casa Grande-class dock landing ship that operated on steam power.  "I was a broiler operator on the ship," he says. "In order to make the steam to run on, bars of water had to be turned into steam. That's what I did." The young sailor was deployed on two … [Read more...]

Disabled Air Force veteran and “prison dog” put hard times behind them

Jason and Dixie

Disabled as a result of an injury during service, an Air Force veteran started his long healing journey - alone. But a sweet, shy hound in a prison dog training program changed everything, and the pair works daily to put their sad pasts behind them.  A proud career cut short Jason comes from a heritage of military service. His father served in the Air Force for twenty years and, in June of 2005, Jason enlisted with the expectation that he would serve his country for the next two decades as well.  Unfortunately, the young veteran's career as an Air Force structural mechanic was cut short … [Read more...]