One program that we quietly do in Harley’s Haven that I think deserves some recognition is our Pups for Vets program. There is this amazing couple, Jon and Laura, who adopted a cutie from us back in 2016 named Maggie. Through this adoption experience, they befriended Alison and got to know more about our rescue. Both Jon and Laura are passionate about veterans (and active service members too!) and the importance of making sure that veterans are treated with the respect that they deserve, and had a wonderful idea to help honor this group of people who sure deserves some recognition. Both Jon’s father and his grandfather served our country. Jon’s father, Al Beagle, spent 26 months in Vietnam, serving 2 Marine Corps tours. He received 2 purple hearts, and was 100% disabled by the end of his life due to Agent Orange exposure. He had very special bonds with his dogs throughout his life, and they were a great source of happiness for him - this bond is the very reason that the Pups for Vets program was started!
I just have to say here when talking about Pups for Vets – I take ZERO credit for this program. This program was 100% the efforts of Alison working with them and ironing out the details and creating the guidelines! And she has done an amazing job creating it and maintaining it so we can keep providing this service! It’s pretty straightforward how it works – any person who applies to adopt through our rescue is asked if they or a direct family member are a veteran of any branch of serving our fine country. If the answer is yes, then the adoption fee is waived. (after still going through our normal approval process, of course!) Laura’s business, Hair Studio 1208, covers 100% of the adoption fee for every single veteran who adopts from us. Can we stop for a second and just marvel at the kindness of this act?? Not only are they helping dogs in need, but they are helping veterans so that finances never play a role in them being able to adopt a best friend.
Alison herself is pretty passionate about this program since her husband, Tim, is a veteran of the US Navy! And they themselves have been able to utilize the program with two of their pups – Mobius and Augie! I’m going to let Alison tell her story herself in another blog, but I didn’t want to not at least mention her family and her personal investment in this program! Pups for Vets has been an amazing way to be able to really give back, and it has made a difference in the lives of so many families. Since we started the program in 2018, we have adopted out 109 dogs (including one who finalizes this week!) – and we are excited to see how many more we can help! I am also excited to start sharing some of their stories through my blog, and will work them into the rotation so you can hear about some of the wonderful people who have adopted through our rescue, and what it has meant to them!
I’ve had several people tell me that the dog they adopted has changed their life, and even that they have given them purpose. I know full well how dogs make our lives complete, so it is extra special to be able to help pair up people with pups in need when it has extra meaning for them. I think dogs always add something special for us, but I think sometimes when veterans have gone through extra stressful or difficult tours or service, having that furry companion to give you comfort and unconditional love is really something special. I am so honored to be a part of this program, and that we are able to offer it. I am also so thankful to the generosity of Jon and Laura by sponsoring it.
If you are an active service member or veteran and are interested in adopting – contact us for more information! And be sure to check back for future blogs where I will highlight some stories of the amazing people who have adopted through our rescue!