Animal Friends for Veterans

Supporting vets. Rescuing pets. Saving lives.

Many troops return home with scars – both seen and unseen – that can make it difficult to transition back to civilian life. They come in many forms including post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, and countless other daily stresses. As a result, statistics show that 22 veterans or active members of the military take their own lives each day … nearly one every hour.

Animal Friends has a longstanding commitment to our veterans and the brave individuals who continue to serve in our Armed Forces. Since its founding in 1943 at the height of World War II, Animal Friends has grown into a full-service animal welfare community that serves as a resource for the pets and people of southwestern Pennsylvania.

Recognizing the life-changing power of the animal-human bond, and with nearly 200,000 military veterans in the Pittsburgh region alone, our commitment is stronger now than ever. Which is why we are thrilled to offer Animal Friends for Veterans, our new comprehensive shelter program for veterans and their pets.

I’m a veteran … tell me more! Click here

I’m a resource provider for veterans … tell me more! Click here

I would like to make a donation! Click here

Major Ben Follansbee Memorial Fund

Major Follansbee was a highly decorated Green Beret who served on multiple deployments in both Iraq and Afghanistan, earning two bronze stars among numerous other commendations. Tragically, in December 2012, he took his own life. His parents, Dr. and Mrs. William Follansbee, know firsthand the alarming statistics about suicide in the military and established the Major Ben Follansbee Memorial Fund to support veterans programming at Animal Friends with the mission of helping veterans and saving homeless shelter animals.


Our team is looking forward to hearing from you so we can share details about how we can customize the program to fit your (and your pet’s) needs.

Matchmaking Services

Animal Friends offers customized matches for veterans and proudly waives the requested adoption donation for any dog, cat or rabbit – a longstanding tradition which we are proud to continue. In addition, we will reasonably provide any necessary services to help strengthen the bond between an adopter and animal.

  • Fill out an adoption application and, where prompted, please indicate that you are a veteran.
  • After you complete the application, we will be in touch to discuss your customized match*.

Customized Adoptions
We recognize that everyone’s needs are different, and Animal Friends is prepared to meet individuals where they are. While some veterans may choose to go the route of a traditional adoption, others may need additional support such as specialized matchmaking and collaborative training. Regardless, Animal Friends for Veterans is here to provide support where it is needed most. As outlined in this brochure, veterans and their pets may be eligible for discounted veterinary wellness services, behavioral support, emergency boarding, and/or access to free pet food. At a minimum, all animals have received the following before going home:

  • Physical exam
  • Spay or neuter surgery
  • Up to date age-appropriate vaccinations
  • Deworming
  • Dogs—heartworm and Lyme test
  • Cats—FIV, FeLV and heartworm test
  • Microchip
  • Flea/tick preventative (dogs/cats/rabbits)
  • Heartworm preventative (dogs)

Pet Food Assistance

Through our Chow Wagon Pet Food Bank, Animal Friends can provide access to free nutritious food for dogs, cats and rabbits living with veterans who are facing financial hardships to ensure nobody goes hungry.

Spay/Neuter Packages

All animals adopted from Animal Friends are spayed or neutered prior to adoption. But, any cat or dog* living with a veteran (including outdoor community cats) in need of spay/neuter services will receive a 10% discount on a spay or neuter package at Animal Friends. City of Pittsburgh residents may also be eligible for a free spay/neuter surgery through a special application process.

*Income qualification is required for dogs who are not pit bulls.

Veterinary Resources

The cost of veterinary care can quickly become a stressful challenge – especially during times of financial uncertainty. Veterans in need* will receive a 20% discount on already low-cost wellness services and vaccines for dogs and cats at our Howard Ash Animal Wellness Center.

*Income qualification is required.

Behavior Help

To ensure a good fit well beyond the adoption or to strengthen the bond with a pet already in their home, veterans will receive a 20% discount on a wide range of select offerings through Animal Friends University, as well as free access to our behavior help line. Additional services may be available dependent upon need.

Emergency Support

While our goal is to keep pets at home with loving families, our team is here to offer support when it is needed most. Animal Friends can offer emergency boarding for any dog, cat or rabbit living with a veteran in crisis.


For questions about Animal Friends for Veterans, contact us at 412.847.7030 or