First Texas Pets for Vets chapter to open
December 31, 2012, 10:00 pm by Alexandria Randolph
Volunteers and staff with the Christ-Yoder Animal Shelter and Adoption Center are taking steps to open the first Texas chapter of the national Pets for Vets adoption program.
Pets for Vets is a national, volunteer-based organization that currently has nine chapters. The organization finds rescue dogs, cats and birds to provide free of charge to U.S. veterans who participate in the program.
"Pets for Vets mission is to save shelter animals and pair them with vets, many of whom have emotional issues from their deployment,” said program volunteer Sally Aarthun. "We don’t require recent deployment- the program is available to any vet who wants an animal.”
U.S. Army Capt. Jessica Scott is stationed at Fort Hood, and has been in contact with staff members of Christ-Yoder and public outreach coordinator Kit Frazier about the project.
"The goal is to get veterans in Central Texas pets that benefit them,” Scott said. "We have a huge population of shelter animals in Texas. Both the soldier and the dog get a second chance.”
Scott said that she will soon contact the warrior transition brigade in Fort Hood about getting involved with the project.
"You don’t come back from war the same, no matter who you are,” Scott said. "If we can take these dogs and put them in a home where they can make a difference, that’s the best thing.”
Aarthun said that the first step is for volunteers to interview and get to know the participating veteran to better pair them with a rescue animal.
"They’ll receive a cat, dog or bird. We select the animal
based on the veteran’s needs,” she said.
For more on this story, see Tuesday's Highlander.
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