For many veterans, their pets are more than man’s best friend. The dogs and cats rescued through the national organization Pets for Patriots are their links back to a normal life after serving their country in heavy combat.
There’s the story of the abandoned cat that becomes a trusty companion to a lonely Vietnam veteran. A Marine, who served multiple combat tours in Afghanistan and Iraq, finds comfort from the burdens of war in his rescued dog. There’s also the story of a veteran whose once-abused one-eyed dog helps calm his symptoms of PTSD.
Pets for Patriots supports adoptions of pets as companions for military veterans. The pets are usually adult pets – the types of pets that are least likely to be rescued from an animal shelter.
The organization works in partnership with animal shelters, veterinarians and businesses all over the country to help pair the animals with the vets and assist with animal care expenses.
Businesses, including in Glendora, are raising money for program.
“At the same time they’re helping the vets, they’re pulling these animals out of these shelters that may not make it,” said Glendora Floor Store owner Jerry Nicholas. “The psychological and physical support these pets gives to these vets is just incredible.”
Glendora Floor Store is just one of hundreds of businesses nationwide collecting money for the program. However, the store is collecting the money as part of the national corporation Floor America.
Nicholas said every dollar counts.
Patrons to his store have donated a dollar or more during visits, their donations marked by tags taped to the store’s door.
So far the store has collected about $500 over the year it has fundraised for Pets for Patriots. Floor America has raised $25,000 nationwide.
Nicholas said the store will continue to collect donations for Pets for Patriots at his store, as well as at community events such as the Flashback Car Show, Dog Day at the Park and Taste of the Village.