At ballparks all across the US servicemen and women are honored during games for their service and sacrifice. On Wednesday, May 31 at the Cubs vs. Dodgers game veteran, Former 3rd Ranger Battalion veteran Joe Trainor, Jr. was recognized for his service during the top of the 4th inning. Trainor is the founder and president of 1Pet 1Vet, which is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to “pair one special pet with that one special veteran…saving two lives, two at a time.”
About 1Pet 1Vet
Trainor founded 1Pet 1 Vet in 2010 and started rescuing dogs from Chicagoland area pounds. During a 10-week program, Trainor and his staff help give veterans the tools they need in order to train and certify their new pets as service and therapy dogs. Through this training process, 1Pet 1Vet hopes to create a deep bond between veteran and dog, while also helping veterans through their transition back into civilian life. Veterans who are integrating back into the community are provided these dogs free of charge. The rescued pups are matched with veterans who are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injuries or other psychological or physical medical conditions that were a result of military combat service post-9/11.
The majority of the pups in the 1Pet 1Vet program are saved from Animal Control because they are at a risk of being euthanized since they haven’t been adopted yet. Breeders and individuals also donate dogs and sometimes veterans interested in the program already have a canine companion already. Although not all dogs who go through the program are able to become service dogs. The dogs who do not qualify as service dogs are then considered “companion animals” and are available for adoption to anyone for a small fee.
One of the most incredible parts of the 1Pet 1Vet program is that the dogs pick their veteran! When veterans are interested in the program, they are put in a room and asked to sit down. Then the dogs are brought in and turned loose to approach and sniff the veterans, and seek out the person that needs them most! Since it’s creation in 2010, 1Pet 1Vet has united about 110 veterans with trained service animals and about 50 companion dogs have been adopted.
For more information or to get involved, check out http://1pet1vet.com/
Written for Blum Animal Hospital by Jackie Sheppard.