Supporting Veterans and Their Pets: Kevin and Shadow

Jun 20, 2024

Like many veterans and their pets, Kevin and Shadow have become an inseparable duo. Kevin and Shadow have been together for 11 years since he took her in while living in New Mexico before they moved to Arizona. Kevin shared that every day, she “pushes him to improve his life and get help through the VA whenever he needs it.”

Supporting Veterans and Their Pets

Like so many Americans who we know and love, Kevin was struggling with substance use disorder that was impacting his life in negative ways. An intervention was a wake-up call and a stepping stone on his path toward a healthier life. Even though he knew he was unwell, without Shadow, Kevin admitted he may not have sought the help he needed through the VA. She was his reason for getting better.

Sadly, his inspiration for pursuing treatment was also a barrier to care. He couldn’t take Shadow to treatment, and he didn’t have anyone to look after her while he was in recovery – an impossible situation!

Then Kevin was introduced through someone at the VA to The Arizona Pet Project. One of the organization’s social workers met with Kevin to explore his options, and the next day, Shadow was placed in temporary boarding where she would be safe while he focused on recovery.

On the day Kevin dropped Shadow off for temporary boarding, The Arizona Pet Project social worker was there to witness the heartwarming scene. Kevin’s love for Shadow was palpable as he kissed her head and reassured her that he could not wait to see her again. This display of affection, and his sacrifice in parting from her, was a testament to their deep bond.

Beautiful moments like this demonstrate the powerful bond between people and pets. And that is why this work matters: keeping people and their pets together.

When it Comes to Supporting Veterans and Their Pets, The Need Is Great

In Arizona, there are an estimated 22,000 veterans who are low-income and living with pets. Veterans are also overrepresented in the unhoused population, with many relying on animals as their sole source of companionship, assistance, and safety.

Thanks to grant funding from the Disabled Veterans National Foundation, The Arizona Pet Project will help even more veteran pet families like Kevin and Shadow with case management, temporary boarding, urgent veterinary care, housing support, pet food, and supplies.

Kevin has a long road ahead, but thanks to his determination and Shadow by his side, anything is possible.

Share This Story

Be Part Of The Long-Term Solution.

Join The Arizona Pet Project in supporting families and saving lives!