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 duty soldiers commit suicide 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 western 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 an Airborne Ranger 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 underwrites the requested adoption donation for any dog, cat or rabbit – a longstanding tradition which we are proud to continue. In addition, we will provide any necessary services to help strengthen the bond between 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 adoption tiers:

  • Traditional matchmaking
  • Matchmaking with added support
  • Specialized matchmaking, collaborative training and support for those with PTSD, TBI, unresolved stress, depression or anxiety

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 in need to ensure nobody goes hungry.

Spay/Neuter Packages

Any cat or dog* living with a veteran (including outdoor community cats) 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 non-pit bull breeds.

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, veterans will receive a 20% discount on a wide range of select offerings through Animal Friends University. For veterans unable to attend classes at Animal Friends, our team is also here to assist with a personalized behavior consultation at no cost.

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.


Contact Mandy Revak, Therapeutic Programs Coordinator, at 412.847.7026 or