Any member of any branch of the United States armed forces is eligible at any stage of their career, up to and including retired or reserve. By enrolling in Pets for Patriots (which is free), those service members and their families can receive a 20 percent adoption discount to bring an animal into their homes. Eligible dogs and cats are two years of age or older, dogs of any age that are 40 pounds or larger, and special-needs dogs and cats. Pets for Patriots members will also receive a discount on veterinary services from several local clinics and animal hospitals.
“Companion pets are known to provide real physical and emotional benefits to their guardians, including those suffering from post-combat stress, depression, isolation or physical disability,” says Beth Zimmerman, founder and executive director of Pets for Patriots.
Service men and women can apply for the program through Pets for Patriots; they will be asked to provide proof of service. Approval typically takes one to two days, after which the service member and his or her family can visit HSHC to choose a new pet.