Shelter Intervention for Veterans and Their Pets

Nov 11, 2022

Shelter Intervention for Veterans and Their Pets

On this Veterans Day, we thank those who’ve served our country! The Arizona Pet Project offers shelter intervention for veterans and their pets because we are committed to supporting veterans and their pets when they need it most–just like how we extended a helping hand to Jerry and Max.

How The Arizona Pet Project Supported a Veteran Named Jerry and His Dog Named Max 

Jerry is a two-time combat veteran and suffers from PTSD. After serving our country as a squad machine gunner while deployed in Iraq, when Jerry came home, he knew that a service dog would greatly improve his quality of life.

Since Jerry lives an active outdoor lifestyle. He wanted a large, high-energy dog who could keep up with the physical demands that come with all the fun activities they’d do together like hiking, camping, biking, and traveling. He always thought his animal companion would ultimately be a lab or German shepherd. But to Jerry’s surprise, the dog who would ultimately become his best friend was…well, none of those things. The dog who stole his heart is a Frenchie named Max!

Early into Jerry and his fiance’s search for an adoptable dog to bring home, they met Max. Mad had been surrendered by a family going through tremendous hardship. His personality was huge and he jumped into their laps like he knew he was home. As it turns out, it was meant to be.

Soon after bringing him home, Max began waking him up from naps while he was in the throes of recurring nightmares of war. The nightmares would often turn into flashbacks if he wasn’t woken up in time.

Max knows when Jerry is becoming stressed in his sleep and looks for other cues that a nightmare is beginning. He licks his face repeatedly until Jerry awakes. Jerry credits his improved well-being to Max.

It’s clear what a strong bond these two share–a true who rescued whom story!

And don’t let Max’s size fool you! This mighty little snorter is full of SO much energy and life and loves the outdoors – just like his dad.

Providing Resources and Services to Support Our Veterans and Their Pets

When Max started showing signs of illness, Jerry didn’t know what to do. His family had recently drained their savings. Dealing with a burst water pipe and his truck had broken down required thousands in repairs. “When it rains, it pours,” Jerry explained. There was nothing left for this unexpected emergency.

Desperate to help his best friend, Jerry reached out for help through The Arizona Pet Project’s shelter intervention program.

Thanks to donations made to The Arizona Pet Project, we had the funding to have Max evaluated where he was diagnosed with Valley Fever.

Knowing that Jerry just needed a few months to get back on his feet, we paid for 90 days of medication and a follow-up visit – he could take it from there. Max was well on his way to getting healthy so he could be there for Jerry as his best friend and animal companion through thick and thin!

Every time you support The Arizona Pet Project, you are providing life-changing (and oftentimes life-saving) care to people and the incredible pets they cherish! Your impact on our community knows no bounds! Thank you for supporting people and pets in need just like how you provided shelter intervention to this Arizona veteran and his pet!

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