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Local organizations help pair military veterans with 4-legged companions, discounted adoptions

Posted at 9:31 PM, Sep 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-20 22:31:52-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Pawed Forces Project is providing a second chance to shelter animals, by rescuing, training and matching them with a military veteran in need of a companion.

Corpus Christi Animal Care Services and the Vet Center teamed up to find a four-legged best friend that veterans could come adopt and take home.

September is suicide prevention month, the goal for this event is to pair veterans with pets that can help with depression, anxiety, and stress.

“Pets have been proven to be helpful preventative measures for suicide and they’re great for different aspects of mental health,” said Ashley McClelland. “It gets you out of the house, and for anxiety they can sense those types of things in people, they're very supportive for emotional needs as well.”

The animal center fetched 12 dogs for the event that would make perfect matches to post-war veterans and their families.

“Found some that are dog friendly, people friendly, they're non-aggressive animals and they have good temperaments,” said McClelland.

Adoption fees were lowered to $22 to help with the cost of adopting a new pet.

“Because 22 veterans a day commit suicide,” said McClelland.

“A lot of the military mentality is that it's a sign of weakness to ask for help you hold on to that like ‘I don’t need it someone else needs it’ but we want to push that down a little and say its ok to ask for help,” said Will Hernandez.

The Vet Center says ultimately it hopes to spread the word on the services and mental health benefits the VA offers.

For those who missed it, this won't be the last time the Vet Center partners with Corpus Christi Animal Care Services.

“I hope that at least one animal finds a home and we save a furry life and hopefully a veteran life as well,” said McClelland.

Animal care services says about 60 people visited the shelter this afternoon for the event. One cat and 12 dogs were adopted; which they say is a huge success.