It is now easier than ever for local veterans and service members to adopt a pet. The County of San Diego Department of Animal Services (DAS) and Rancho Coastal Humane Society (RCHS) have partnered with Pets for Patriots to help military members experience the gift of unconditional friendship and love while providing shelter dogs and cats a second chance at life.
“This is truly a “win-win” situation for both the pets that deserve a loving home and our service members who will gain a loyal, forever companion,” said Dawn Danielson, Director of the Department of Animal Services.
Pets for Patriots initiates the relationship between military members and animal shelters and provides on-going financial support to the adopter for the life of the animal. Qualifying adoptions include dogs or cats, at least two years old, as well as large dogs and special needs pets. Individuals are eligible from any branch of the United States military and at any stage of their careers – active, reserve, retired or veteran.
“Our goal is to help both the animal and the military members,” said Jim Silveira, Rancho Coastal Humane Society President. “Veterans have sacrificed a lot for our community, and by helping them to add a companion animal to their homes, we not only solve a problem for our homeless pets, but we are bringing joy to the life of a service member who has given so much.”
DAS and RCHS will work with military personnel in the community to match them with a pet that fits their needs and lifestyle. The partnership will help all involved place more adult pets into loving, long-term homes.
"Companion pets provide real physical and emotional benefits to veterans and their families, including those suffering from post-combat stress, transitioning to civilian life or experiencing feelings of isolation," said Beth Zimmerman, Executive Director of Pets for Patriots. “We’re delighted to work with the County of San Diego and Rancho Coastal Humane Society to benefit both the pet and person."
Service men and women interested in the program must apply through Pets for Patriots and provide proof of military service. Upon application approval, the military members can visit any of the three County shelters or the Rancho Coastal Humane Society in Encinitas for assistance in choosing their new best friend.
For more information on the program, visit petsforpatriots.org or rchumanesociety.org.
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