Photographing dead bodies in Vietnam, undergoing 37 operations and suffering from head-to-toe disabilities may make some of us kind of disgusted with life. Heck, stubbing a toe can make some of us disgusted with life.
Unless, of course, you happen to have a pet.
Getting free pets for military veterans is the mission of the new Pets 4 Vets Program launched by the Tucson nonprofit 4-Legged Friends Inc. Once the program is up and running, the group hopes to help provide free pets for any vet who wants one but can’t afford the adoption fees.
“When a vet gets a free pet it gives them hope!” group co-founder Lee Vork writes in an email. The exclamation point is all his. Vork’s enthusiasm comes easily despite his 37 operations, his 100 percent service-related disability status and his being pronounced dead in 2002 after a heart attack.
Another group co-founder is Tucsonan Bill Wilson, a vet who spent four years taking pictures of dead bodies in Vietnam, and whose experiences there include being shot down in a helicopter. His 100 percent service-related disability status is still pending, although he currently rates at 90 percent.
Vork and Wilson both grew up around animals on Midwest farms. They met in Tucson in 2005 and 4-Legged Friends was born a few years later. While the Pets 4 Vets Program is new, the group has been helping animals since the get-go. [Read more…] about Horrors turn to hope when you give a vet a pet (and go for holistic pet care)