Military Vets And Pets Facing Homelessness Help Each Other

March 17, 2014

(Photo courtesy of @PetsforPatriots)
After IED blast and PTSD, combat veteran's best medicine is ex-stray dog.

It may be a marriage of convenience, but it appears to be working out for both parties. Military veterans are being paired with pets facing homelessness or death through the matchmaking of the nonprofit group Pets for Patriots. Executive director Beth Zimmerman said they are discovering the well-documented mental and physical benefits of pet ownership.

“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,” Zimmerman said.

Zimmerman said Pets for Patriots arrange adoptions for active-duty military as well as retirees. She said the animals are usually older, large, mixed-breed dogs. Five Arizona shelters, including the Humane Society, are participating in the program.

Cash donations can be made online. Veterans also can go to the website to start the adoption process or find a participating shelter.