Pets for Patriots, a nationwide charity connecting veterans with last-chance shelter pets, has reached a major milestone: its 100th honorable adoption. The occasion was marked with one of the organization’s more dramatic stories: a dog with hours to live was rescued and ultimately united with a widowed veteran who needed a new best friend.
The milestone adoption tale started on March 22, when the charity’s founder received an early evening phone call about a death row dog in Texas. The animal had been surrendered by a soldier who believed it would be adopted quickly, but was unaware that as a large breed dog, his beloved pet faced a harder time being placed.
“It was five o’clock when I received a call from a woman named Veanna in Fort Worth, Texas who was determined to save this dog,” says Beth Zimmerman, founder and executive director of Pets for Patriots. “Quinn was slated to die at seven the next morning. We didn’t think we could really help beyond posting the story on our Facebook and Twitter pages and hoping for the best.”
Zimmerman says the charity fields many such requests on a routine basis, but is unable to assist every time. “While our mission is saving last-chance pets and placing them with veterans and service members, we’re simply not set up to be able to save a particular animal in a particular shelter anywhere in the country,” she says. “We didn’t have much hope that we could help Quinn, but we decided to try.”
It didn’t take long before a Facebook post from a Fort Worth police officer named Paul changed everything: he contacted the shelter and ‘tagged,’ or reserved the dog. He intended to foster Quinn until he could find a loving home, and was already in contact with a woman in Kentucky who said she would adopt.
But it was another post on the charity’s Facebook page that caught Zimmerman’s attention.: a widower, and veteran of both the Army and Navy who vowed to adopt Quinn in order to save his life.
“He posted his phone number and I called right away,” says Zimmerman. “Sometimes you just know, ‘this is the one.’ I felt that way after speaking with George, and asked Paul to consider adopting out Quinn to this Texas veteran instead of sending him out of state.”
On March 31, Paul and his wife took Quinn to San Antonio to unite with George, who knew that his life would change forever – and for the better – with Quinn a part of it.
During their time together that afternoon, George learned something special about Paul: he was a Marine Corps veteran.
“Somehow it’s fitting,” says Zimmerman, “that a dog surrendered by a service member is saved by a veteran and ultimately adopted by another. It was simply meant to be.”
George and Quinn have become fast friends, even though the dog – at 70 pounds and growing – fancies himself a large lap dog.
“My companion will take me out of the despair I felt all the years since I lost my wife,” says George, adding, “Today is the first day of the rest of my life.”
About Pets for Patriots
Pets for Patriots, Inc., is a registered 501(c)(3) charity that helps military members honorably adopt adult and at-risk shelter pets. Its mission is to consistently give the gifts of fidelity, joy and companionship to both pet and person. Pets for Patriots is one of the only organizations in the country dedicated to both adult pets and military members. The charity is a proud member of the Army AW2 Wounded Warrior Program national community support network, a national partner of the Real Warriors Campaign and is listed by the National Resource Directory for ill and wounded veterans. Visit www.petsforpatriots.org for more information.