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. Feelings of hopelessness and a desire to give up are all too common in our veterans.
In early 2023, a veteran confided in us, “There were so many times I wanted to end it all, but I didn’t because I didn’t want anything bad to happen to my dogs.”
At Animal Friends, we understand that companion animals can help veterans remain more active and engaged, and can be the relationship that keeps them going.
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 before. That’s why we are so proud to offer Animal Friends for Veterans, our comprehensive adoption and resource support program for veterans and their pets.
Major Ben Follansbee Memorial Fund
Animal Friends for Veterans is made possible by the Major Ben Follansbee Memorial Fund. For more information and to support veterans programming at Animal Friends click here.
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. A short survey will be provided to you to help our staff understand your adoption needs and begin your customized matchmaking process.
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 want to receive additional support such as specialized matchmaking and collaborative training. Regardless, Animal Friends for Veterans is here to provide support where it is needed most.
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.
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 20% discount on a spay or neuter package at Animal Friends Wellness Clinic. City of Pittsburgh residents may also be eligible for a free spay/neuter surgery through a special application process.
The cost of veterinary care can quickly become a stressful challenge – especially during times of financial uncertainty. Veterans will receive a 20% discount on already affordable wellness services and vaccines for dogs and cats at our Wellness Clinic.
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 dog training classes through Animal Friends University, as well as free access to our behavior help line. Additional services such as one-on-one training sessions may be available dependent upon need.
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 assistance, please email AdmissionsInfo@ThinkingOutsideTheCage.org.
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. Please call us at 412.847.7030 or email Veterans@ThinkingOutsidetheCage.org to get started.