They say a dog is man's best friend. There are countless examples proving that is the case and for a veteran in need, whether they're struggling with PTSD, homelessness or other issues a dog can make a whole world of difference. That is why a local animal shelter has partnered withThe Madison County Veterans Service Agency (MCVSA) to help those veterans who need that support.

On Monday, the MCVSA announced they have established a dedicated fund in collaboration with the Wanderer's Rest Humane Association out of Canastota. The purpose of the fund is to allow veterans the opportunity to adopt a puppy or dog. The biggest barrier for veterans adopting a furever friend seems to be the adoption fee. That is where this newly formed fund comes in.

Ron Raymer is the Director of the MCVSA. He says,

Animal companions can have a profound impact on veterans’ lives. We know that first hand.  Last year, we lost a dear friend and colleague to suicide.  His dog, Karma, came every day with him to work in our office.  Karma not only provided companionship for our dear friend, Mark.  She also made a huge impact on the rest of us in the office, and the veterans that came through our doors.

The new program titled "Pets for Vets" got a huge boost last week as the Sons of the American Legion presented a check to the fund in the amount of $2,670. Those funds were made possible from proceeds of the annual Armed Forces Day Golf Outing Raffle held last month.

The program is two fold. The fund will not only help the veteran in need, which studies have shown companion animals can significantly help struggling vets, but it also helps support Wanderer's Rest which relies heavily on adoption fees for their survival. Sarah Murdie is the Executive Director of Wanderer's Rest. Murdie says.

This is a great start to helping connect our veterans with an animal companion. This program is not only for our veterans, but also benefits our animals. A way to eliminate the financial barrier for eligible veterans, and facilitate that much needed emotional bond for both the veteran and the rescued animal.

It is so incredible to see two great organizations working to solve two issues. Those needs are the important mission of helping veterans in their struggles and finding stray or surrendered dogs much needed homes. I'd say this partnership is certainly a win-win.

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