The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has announced a partnership with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) that encourages veterans to adopt animals during their civilian transition, and to work or volunteer with their local animal shelters.
“There are many benefits to pet ownership both for veterans in need of companionship and for animals in need of good homes,” said VA Secretary David J. Shulkin. “The greatest benefit for both can be a more fulfilled quality of life. We are pleased to work with the Humane Society on this important initiative and excited about its potential to create more opportunities to serve.”
VA has been looking to provide veterans with new, innovative ways to improve their well-being, and with the mental and emotional benefits of owning a dog becoming more scientifically proven, the partnership with HSUS seems logical.
Humane Society CEO and President Wayne Pacelle echoed the positive sentiments regarding the new partnership.
“The partnership between animal welfare groups and VA is an important program for our veterans and for homeless animals,” Pacelle said. “We know the power of the human-animal bond, and I can’t think of a better way to see it expressed than in helping our nation’s heroes.”
It also makes sense that the partnership is encouraging veterans looking for work to inquire at their local animal shelters, as dogs can have positive mental effects on people in the workplace.
VA and HSUS will aim to make the connection between VA healthcare facilities and the HSUS stronger, making it easier for veterans to adopt animals.