Pets for Vets will provide free dog adoption services to local area veterans through the CVHS shelter. For the first year of the program, the focus will be on placing dogs with veterans. Cats may be added to the program in the future.
Pet for Vets is made possible thanks to grant funding from the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation.
The Pets for Vets program will cover all adoption fees (normally $125 for dogs) and will also provide the new pet owners with a collar, leash, bowl, initial food and toys as well as free enrollment in CVHS’s seven-week dog obedience class (valued at $100). (Please note, obedience courses are only offered during summers months and cannot be guaranteed for Pets for Vets adopters during the off-season.) The service will also include the normal costs covered in a dog adoption such as veterinarian services, vaccines and spaying/neutering. Although the monetary value CVHS is able to offer through this program is substantial, CVHS hopes the value of the companionship from these animals will be an even greater factor for our area’s veterans.
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, “Owning a dog can lift your mood or help you feel less stressed. Dogs can help people feel better by providing companionship. All dog owners, including those who have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can experience these benefits.” Additionally, dogs help to keep owners active and involved in the outdoors, another important factor that increases well- being of veterans.
Veterans can provide great lives for dogs and often have the strong discipline from their service that helps to create tight bonds between owners and pets. We are glad that not only will we be able to thank them for their service with this program, but dogs will also be able to find quality homes. The Pets for Vets program will also aid in CVHS’s goal to place more animals in permanent homes.
Local veterans will be able to apply for the program by contacting CVHS by phone or in person. To qualify, applicants must meet CVHS’s normal adoption criteria (housing, activity level, etc.) and be able to provide a current or retired military ID or written records.
If you would like to support programs like Pets for Vets, you may donate to CVHS online or via mail at:
Cedar Valley Humane Society
7411 Mt Vernon Road SE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52403