Purr-fect Pets Going Home with Heros

Vincent Benavente adopted his kitten Ice, at a Wags for Warriors event/
Helen Woodward Animal Center

Just in Time for National Cat Day on Oct. 29: Know a service member who could use a little love of the furry, four-legged kind?

Well, they may be in luck next weekend at the Helen Woodward Animal Center in Rancho Santa Fe.

In advance of Veterans Day on Nov. 11, the local shelter is working with the Southern California-based Animals for Armed Forces Foundation to connect members of the military with orphaned pets.

“Our military families deserve our utmost appreciation, and I can’t think of a better way to demonstrate that appreciation than by providing them the unconditional love an animal can bring,” Helen Woodward's adoption services manager, Dora Dahlke, said in a news release sent out this week.

Due to pandemic restrictions limiting on-site appointments, military families are being urged to sign up now for a slot on Nov. 7-8 to take home their newest family member for free, other than a $32 microchip fee.

The Armed Forces Foundation will be covering adoption fees for this event, according to officials at Helen Woodward.

The help for heros doesn't stop at the door, according to Helen Woodward employees -- the shelter's AniMeals program, in partnership with the natural pet food company Blue Buffalo, can help wounded military members out with pet food; its Pets Without Walls "assists the non-profit Cammies and Canines [with] routine medical care to the former shelter dogs they pair with veterans in their program"; and its Companion Animal Hospital’s Military Fund provides free services to active-duty enlisted military E-1 to E-7 or disabled military members and their immediate family members.

Don't forget to bring you military ID when you pick up your pet!

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