Kingsport, Tenn. - Veterans who serve our country are in the business of protecting our lives every day, or in some cases saving our lives.
Now there's a chance that they can save the lives of older shelter animals.
It's a program called "Pets for Patriots" and now available at the SBK Animal Centers in Sullivan County.
If you browse through the cages of all of the animals up for adoption at the SBK Animal Center looking for a pet, the likelihood of you picking a cute little puppy to take home are pretty good. "A lot of times people will come in and they see the cute cuddly little puppies ,and that's what they always want to adopt. They bypass the older ones and the bigger dogs. We have a harder time adopting out the older dogs," Donna Davidson with the Kingsport office of SBK Animal Center says.
To help with that situation the animal center has teamed up with "Pets for Patriots," a program to allow military veterans or service members to adopt one of the older dogs for the normal adoption fee and then some. It just takes an online application. "When they adopt they get $150 gift certificate as well to help buy supplies needed for that animal. Participating vets that are on a list, they get 10 percent off the care for the life of the animal," Davidson said.
Love and loyalty of an older dog or cat doesn't diminish with time and what they give back to their veteran owners is priceless. "It helps the veterans find a companion animal and to help the older and larger breed animals get homes as well," she says.
And whether they know it or not, they already share a common bond. The older animals know what its like to be overlooked, just like some of our veterans who have given us so much.