VA and HSUS announce pact to help Veterans and homeless animals

By on December 6, 2017 with 11 Comments By Wayne Pacelle

When you think of those who embody the notions of loyalty and faithful service, you need look no farther than the pets in our lives and the military Veterans who’ve served our nation. These faithful friends and defenders of hearth and home deserve every act of kindness we can deliver. As admirers of dogs and vets, we believe both communities could benefit from some matchmaking.

In this spirit, The HSUS is pleased to join with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in announcing a strategic partnership to support Veterans, their well-being, and their social integration through the adoption of rescued animals and related interactions with companion animals. In this collaboration, we’ll work with the VA to promote and expand pet keeping for Veterans, encourage their engagement with local animal shelters and other humane organizations as adopters, patrons, and volunteers, and communicate the many benefits that companion animals bring to the lives of Veterans throughout the nation.

The VA’s core mission is its support for those who “have borne the battle.” The HSUS’s core mission is its support for the protection of all animals and the celebration of the human-animal bond. This new collaboration is a happy instance of mission convergence, and it’s a natural one, with some history behind it. At The HSUS, ever since our founding, we’ve been supported by military Veterans on our board, on our staff, and among our many varied volunteers. We’ve always recognized Veterans as natural allies. We’ve stood up for Veterans whenever they’ve stood up for animals, and we’ve celebrated them.

Now, we have a governmental partner and the opportunity to do even more of both. We’ll be reaching out to local humane societies and animal rescue groups and to Veterans and Veterans organizations, to encourage greater participation in the work of animal organizations at the local level and to strengthen the kinds of services that such organizations offer to our military men and women. We’ll work through all available channels to reach more Veterans with information about animal adoption and pet care, and to make them aware of service opportunities and other means of getting involved with humane work. Finally, we’ll work with the VA to enhance the quality of life for Veterans by promoting petkeeping and other healthy interactions with animals, fostering a greater understanding of the responsibilities of animal care, and greater social and community integration of Veterans.

Last month, we observed Veterans Day, a day on which we make it a priority to honor the men and women who have faithfully served in our nation’s armed forces. But the simple fact is that Americans should be mindful of Veterans’ loyalty and service every day. By committing to this partnership, we at The HSUS are also seeking to reaffirm our gratitude and our sense of obligation to the nation’s service members, past and present, and to enlist them in our own good cause of helping animals.

Companion Animals

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  1. Anita Eylar says:

    This is such an awesome announcement! As a deputy district leader volunteer in the state of Washington I will definitely help promote this initiative! Great job HSUS and all our veterans!

  2. Andrew & Nico says:

    We are two 12 year old boys who are looking into the rights for elephants and don’t like the reversed law that Donald Trump passed. We want to help the elephants and their well being so they don’t go extinct. We think it would be a shame if the elephants went extinct because they are such wonderful creatures and are amazing in every way. We are starting a project on them and raising money for them like bake sales/yard sales/ doing chores/yard work. We would love it if you could respond with some advice about how we could take this further into the future. Or email. Well hope you have a good rest of the day. By hope you are successful in your journey’s in helping elephants too. Hope you respond.

  3. Candis Stern says:

    It would be wonderful if HSUS could work with some of the non-profits who are also doing this type of work. Such as Pets for Patriots and Pets for Vets. The collaboration could be good for all of these organizations, and of course, the veterans.

  4. Mary says:

    This is great. Brought tears to my eyes.

  5. Denny Deal says:

    Thanks to all that make this partnership available to our vets, from the President on down!

  6. Michele Kuslits says:

    As a Veteran, wife of a Disabled War Vet and also a Volunteers at my local Animal Shelter, I am very glad to hear this. However, I would like to learn more and find out HOW my local shelter can assist.

  7. Leslie Walker says:

    This program is something I can help facilitate in my community. Are there any tips or guidelines that can be shared about implementation?

  8. Amy Sky says:

    Is hsus doing anything about the va’s medical testing on beagles?

  9. Cheryl Nickerson says:

    I think many vets could be helped with PTSD through bonding with cats as well as dogs. I never hear much about this cat-human bond in animal welfare organizations serving vets but we are exploring this important topic. Many men as well as women prefer their feline companions a little more than canines- our hope is to start a vet-cat program!

  10. JP HULLER says:

    So basically you and the VA are going to talk about it.
    Ive checked every one of 5 shelters in my area. I don’t see any funding, nor at any shelter website any links, or information.
    I can’t find any shelter (in Tampa Bay Fl.) Reducing fees for veterans, or even reaching out to them in any way. I really do not mean any offense but it does all seem like smoke and mirrors.

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