All active, reserve and retired military members receive adoption discount this Veterans Day
This Veterans Day, November 11, Seattle Humane honors the men and women who are or have served in all branches of the U.S. Military with a 25 percent discount on any pet adoption fee.
One Seattle Humane employee understands the comfort of a companion animal more than most.
“There is definitely a connection between vets and shelter dogs,” says Adam Householder, Seattle Humane’s Foster Program Coordinator and Iraq War Veteran.
When Householder returned from his tour, he was 22 years old, a new dad, and in search of a job. On top of that, he had just lost his mom. “One day, my six-year-old daughter and I were on the couch with Ally watching an Animal Planet show and she asked why I wasn’t working with dogs. I never in my life considered working with dogs, but I started volunteering at Seattle Humane. That’s when the true healing began.”
At the same time, Householder’s therapist suggested he get a service dog to help him deal with anxiety, night terrors and fear of crowds. The therapist agreed Household’s pet Ally could meet the requirements. Ally – who had a “unique ability to wake me up when I had night terrors and distract me when I became frustrated” – was trained to shield Householder in crowds, as well as exhibit good service dog manners in public. Once Ally was a certified PTSD Service Dog, they started going places Householder hadn’t been in years. “I was able to take my best friend everywhere.”
Back at Seattle Humane, Householder signed up for dog behavior training and started fostering dogs. “I couldn’t get my hands on dogs soon enough,” he said.
After volunteering for a year, he was hired as a behavior specialist/dog trainer. One year later, he became the Foster Care Coordinator and has held that post for three months. In his new position, Householder hopes to pursue programs that connect vets with dogs.
“Vets can empathize with a dog who is scared and hiding in the back corner,” he said.
Seattle Humane’s Visiting Pet Friends (VPF) program sends volunteers and their certified pets to Veterans health facilities.
One VPF volunteer is Abby Wolfe and her cat Roger, a certified therapy animal who was adopted from Seattle Humane in 2012. Roger has his own traumatic story, which Wolfe thinks may be the reason why he’s so patient and loving in his VPF role.
A rescue from a hoarder house with 70 other cats, Roger had a major infection that cost him his eye and most of his teeth.
“When I got Roger, I realized pretty quickly he’d be a good fit for VPF. Not only does he have the temperament and personality, but he has a back story that’s fascinating to folks, and it’s a way for him to give back for all the care he received.”
If you would like to arrange to have a VPF team visit a facility, please call (425) 649-7566.
Adoptable animals can be viewed online at seattlehumane.org. Seattle Humane, located at 13212 SE Eastgate Way in Bellevue, is open Veterans Day from 11 a.m. to 6 pm.