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Helping veteran’s furry companions

Published: May. 21, 2022 at 9:35 PM EDT
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BERLIN, Vt. (WCAX) -

Saturday is Armed Forces Day. It’s a time to honor the men and women currently serving, as well as those who have served. In Berlin, two organizations partnered to give service member’s furry companions a full veterinarian checkup for free.

A dog is a Vermonter’s best friend. “He’s just as much part of the family as any human,” said Tyler Lebaeu, a veteran from Hardwick.

Dozens of furry companions received vaccinations, microchipping, nail trimmings, and other health assessments from veterinarians.

Their owners didn’t pay a dime.

“I appreciate it very much. People have been great since I got back,” said Wilbur Lee Brown, a veteran from Barre.

That’s because they’re service members, veterans, and first responders.

On this Armed Forces Day, Paws of War of New York partnered up with the Mitzvah Fund of Montpelier to provide a mobile veterinarian clinic.

Both organizations provide help to veterans and their service dogs as well as K-9 companions year round.

“Our economy has a lot of inflation, has been happening, the pandemic, a lot of people are struggling so this is one are where we’re able to provide a relief,” said Kelli Porti of Paws of War.

“I love that little dog She’s up there in age but she’s a good dog,” said Brown.

Brown says having access to these vital services for his pal Molly is extremely helpful for his wallet.

“Just get her done because we haven’t had the cash to do it,” said Brown.

Veteran Chris Brock of Barre adds - the timing is perfect. “We’re going to be moving so it works even better, get everything out of the way when we move,” said Brock.

Deborah Glottmann of the Mitzvah Fund notes that clinics like this are also helpful to educate folks on different aspects of their dog’s health.

“Teaching people that dental diseases are important, teaching them what annual vaccines they need, heartworm tests, etc,” said Glottmann.

The clinic is important for a dog’s health and checkup, but it has some other important benefits too.

“It gets veterans to see veterans which we find to be imperative. it gets the dogs socialized, we had a lot of puppies here earlier and if they live out in the woods in Vermont they’re not getting a lot of socialization,” says Glottmann.

And participants say it’s a weight lifted. “It’s great it clears up the ability to get other things done that need to be done,” said Lebeau.

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