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Last-Chance Pets Find Patriot Companions

PHOTO: Last-chance pets are finding forever homes with our nation's heroes, with the help of some creative match-making. Courtesy of PetsForPatriots.org
PHOTO: Last-chance pets are finding forever homes with our nation's heroes, with the help of some creative match-making. Courtesy of PetsForPatriots.org
March 14, 2014

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Last chance pets are finding forever homes with the nation's heroes with the help of some matchmaking.

Beth Zimmerman, executive director of the nonprofit group Pets for Patriots, says her organization is working with U.S. military veterans to help them find, afford and adopt last chance dogs and cats from shelters.

She says there are well-documented mental and physical benefits of pet ownership, and Pets for Patriots has discovered some unintended additional benefits in the program.

"We've had many veterans who have PTSD, depression, substance abuse, other types of psychological conditions, either reduce, or in some cases, come off their medications entirely," she relates.

Zimmerman says pets that are certain to die in a shelter, or face long-term homelessness in a shelter, are singled out for the program – so they are usually older animals, and large, mixed-breed dogs.

Zimmerman describes the situation as a perfect match, but there are stumbling blocks – mainly money.

Pets for Patriots helps veterans with animal adoption fees, veterinary care and sometimes food.

"We have overwhelming demand from communities across the country where we have not yet launched our program, and we'd love to be in as many of them possible," she explains.

Pets for Patriots arranges adoptions for active duty military, as well as retired – and the group accepts cash donations online.

Veterans can also go to the website to start the adoption process, or find a participating shelter at PetsForPatriots.org.


Dan Heyman, Public News Service - WV