Dear Fellow Veterans,
I wanted to inform you that I have organized a system to assist disabled veterans in providing for their pets. There is a need for this. The number of disabled veterans will never go down. As a disabled veteran and a veterinarian I can tell you that the companionship of a dog or cat can mean the difference between a good day and a bad day. The PTSD vets in particular benefit from a companion assistance dog. I havenít met many rich disabled vets either!
Therefore, I am going to organize and provide a sponsoring program for pet insurance and health plans for the companion assistance dogs and cats so that the disabled veteran will never have to put their friends to sleep or cause them to suffer unnecessarily.
Those of you that have followed the assistance dog programs and legislation and congressional testimony know that this is an inexpensive, direct way to provide the companionship, unconditional love, and physical support needed by many vets.
Any disabled vet who has a companion animal or wants to get one will be assisted. There will be no obligation to participate. Pet insurance and follow up care with their local veterinarian will enhance the health of the animal, and reduce unnecessary concerns by the veteran that he or she may not be able to afford wellness or major care for this necessary companion.
We will work with vets already in the VA programs that are eligible for assistance dogís support through the VA. We will assist those disabled vets who may not qualify for VA assistance but still have need of a companion animal. We will assist in any way necessary to provide, train, and maintain the companion animal. Wellness programs will be created for each individual veteran according to the needs of their pet. Statistics show that senior citizens live longer with a pet. I am sure you will agree that vets will live longer and happier lives with a pet.
I would first like your help in identifying disabled veterans in your area, whether they are chapter members or not. Secondly, if they do participate I will be calling upon you to assist them in any way you can. I know that will not be a problem.
Robert G. Zepecki, DVM
Founder, DAV K9 Assistance
OEF/OIF veteran Jeffrey Adams and his CCI service dog Sharif