Stay tuned for even more benefits for veterans and companion animals!
Veterans’ Programs at Animal Friends
Founded in 1943 as an avenue of support for soldiers leaving for World War II who had no place to safely leave their beloved companion animals, Animal Friends has a longstanding commitment to the brave individuals serving in our Armed Forces. Many troops return home with scars – both seen and unseen – that make it difficult to transition back to civilian life. These stresses come in many forms. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) are the best known, but there are many others including family and relationship traumas, financial pressures, moral injury, toxic command, depression and countless others. As a result, data indicate that every day 22 veterans or active duty soldiers commit suicide. Nearly one every hour.
At the same time, we know millions of wonderful companion animals across the country capable of supporting a healing and meaningful relationship, wait in shelters for a loving home. To help address these combined needs and to strengthen our commitment to veterans, Animal Friends is pleased to support our military heroes. Under the auspice of the Maj. Benjamin Follansbee Memorial Fund, Animal Friends offers a series of targeted adoption programs to support and thank our regional veterans. These options include providing specially selected, trained and fully certified companion dogs or occasionally cats to veterans who are felt to be at risk. These animals are provided completely free of charge including spaying or neutering, all vaccines and other necessary medical care, microchipping and follow up training after the dog is placed. We are also committed to matching any veteran with a companion animal while waiving the requested adoption donation.
The Maj. Benjamin Follansbee Memorial Fund
Maj. Follansbee was an Airborne Ranger who subsequently earned his coveted Special Forces tab and Green Beret, thereafter becoming a HALO Airborne Team commander and HALO Jump Master. He served on multiple deployments in both Iraq and Afghanistan, earning two bronze stars among numerous other commendations. He was described by his peers as being not only highly dedicated and accomplished, but also humble, loyal and compassionate.
Tragically, Maj. Follansbee took his own life in December, 2012. His parents, Dr. and Mrs. William Follansbee, know firsthand the alarming statistics about suicide in the military and the challenges that many veterans face as they transition from military duty to civilian life.
For that reason, the Follansbee family established the Maj. Benjamin Follansbee Memorial Fund. Its mission is to help veterans while at the same time saving homeless shelter animals — one veteran and one animal at a time.
Individuals, businesses and groups are encouraged to consider a gift to the Maj. Benjamin Follansbee Memorial Fund to support Veterans’ Programs at Animal Friends.
Underwritten Adoptions for All Veterans
We will help any veteran or active duty military member find a new best friend (dog, cat or rabbit). Simply come to Animal Friends and bring along a military ID or DD214 form and we’ll get started. You will meet with one of our Adoption Counselors who will get to know you, gather information and find out what type of pet you are looking for. It is important that we know if there are any special needs or requests so the appropriate dog, cat or rabbit is matched with your unique family and home. Then the matchmaking will begin!
Consistent with every adoption through Animal Friends, your new pet will be current on vaccines, spayed or neutered and microchipped. For our veteran adopters, the pet is provided free of any charge. And, as an added benefit, throughout their lifetime the adopted pet will receive a discount on all vaccines at our Animal Wellness Center Clinic.
For questions about our Veterans’ Programs, please contact Mandy at:
MRevak@ThinkingOutsideTheCage.org | 412.847.7026