Every Tuesday around 8:45 a.m., Veterans travel to the Bossier City Animal Control. Veteran, Jason says, “It’s very rewarding and the dogs love to see people. They start running around and getting excited when you get there.”
The group of Veterans live at our Veterans Transitional Living Facility. The 56-bed program provides the basics of food, shelter and support, while the Overton Brooks VA Medical Center takes care of their physical and mental health needs. All Veterans are required to save a portion of their income and either work, go to school or volunteer during the day.
Case manager, Chanel, wrote, “The idea behind this [Vets for Pets] is the link between animal and human interaction and its therapeutic benefit. It also directly impacts our city by helping these animals become more desirable for adoption.” She adds, “I also found that it increases a sense of belonging and responsibility within the Veteran.”
“I don’t like people, but I like Lucky,” Sean shares. “I’ve lived at the Veterans Home for almost a year. Feelings and emotions are all new to me and I sometimes shut off completely.” Yet when Sean sees Lucky, he sees a friend and a kindred spirit. Together, they run and play outside. And although Sean enjoys spending time with him, he says, “I hope Lucky finds a good home.”
At the Bossier City Animal Control, the Veterans are registered volunteers and assist with every day task such as bathing animals, walking animals and teaching basic commands. However, they are giving much more than their time – they are giving their hearts.
Most of the Veterans work with the dogs, but David says he is the “Cat Man”. “My main job is to cuddle them. That makes them more adoptable.”
Whether it is cats or dogs, these furry animals now have a few more best friends until they find a new home.