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Humane Society of Harford County joins forces with Pets for Patriots

PetsU.S. Military

The Humane Society of Harford County Inc. and Pets for Patriots Inc. have joined forces to give active, disabled and retired military service members and their families the gift of a pet's unconditional love, while providing dogs and cats with a second chance at life. Through this partnership, Pets for Patriots will connect our area's loyal service men and women to the humane society, which will introduce them to eligible homeless dogs and cats that are looking for permanent homes.

Individuals are eligible from any U.S. armed forces and at any stage of their careers – active, reserve, National Guard, retired or veteran. Eligible adoptions must meet one of the following criteria: dogs or cats 2 years and older, dogs 40 pounds or larger regardless of age and special needs dogs and cats. The Humane Society of Harford County will help any veteran in the Pets for Patriots program find a needs- and lifestyle-appropriate pet. Enrolling in the Pets for Patriots program is free and in return, the humane society will provide a 20 percent adoption discount. In addition, several local veterinary clinics are offering discounts on veterinary services for approved Pets for Patriots members. Additional veterinarians are added to the program as they are approved.

"Our goal is to help our adoption partners re-home harder-to-place pets that still have years of love and life to give," Beth Zimmerman, founder and executive director of Pets for Patriots, said. "Companion pets are known to provide real physical and emotional benefits to their guardians, including those suffering from post-combat stress, depression, isolation or physical disability. We're delighted to work with The Humane Society of Harford County to give these at-risk pets a second chance at life and, in so doing, to enhance the lives of veterans living in the community."

The humane society quickly saw the potential to find adult dogs and cats permanent homes with service members. "We are able to place about 1,500 pets each year," Mary Leavens, executive director of the Humane Society of Harford County, said. "Through our partnership with Pets for Patriots, we hope to provide forever homes to even more loving animals with the many military personnel and veterans in our area."

Service men and women interested in the program must first apply through Pets for Patriots and provide proof of their military service. Approval typically takes one or two business days, after which the military member can visit the humane society for assistance in choosing a new pet friend.

The Humane Society of Harford County Inc. is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to the welfare and well-being of the approximately 4,500 animals that come to us each year. It promotes the kind treatment of homeless, stray and abandoned animals by providing shelter, care, adoptions and community education. It is not a county agency nor is it affiliated with any national or regional organization. Tax-deductible donations, bequests and proceeds from events are crucial to our life-saving efforts on behalf of the animals of our community. Visit http://www.harfordshelter.org for more information and follow us at http://www.facebook.com/thehumanesocietyofharfordcounty.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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