Three years ago the rescue group Coco's Cupboard started in Pike County to spay and neuter dogs and cats. Now, they have launched a partnership with Healing 4 Heroes to rehabilitate their most qualified strays and pair them with a veteran.
The program just started in the past six months and it is an ambitious project.
"A lot of our dogs just need love and attention," Kathy Addis said. Addis is one of five volunteers for Coco's Cupboard who keep dogs in their personal homes until they can be adopted. Between all the volunteers, they have an average of 40 dogs that need a good home.
"The citizens, we have been inundated with stray dogs, and dumped animals, and sick and injured animals and people had no place to go and no resources to deal with these dogs and cats," Addis said. "There is no shelter in Pike County so it is up to volunteers and members of the community to help."
Once the non-profit began rescuing dogs they decided it was time to work with some of the best and brightest to be paired up with veterans.
"It is amazing, and everybody gets a second chance," Addis said. "The dog, and the veteran. So, it is a wonderful program. They both pass a good citizenship program, and they are able to gain confidence together. They team up and form that bond and then go out and do everything together."
The program has placed a couple of dogs with veterans. Currently, they are hand-picking different strays and veterans to be a part of the program. Once the dogs are paired up with their veterans, both will go through an intensive six month training course.
"And then they are full on service dogs," Addis said. "We are completely funded by donations. So we need funds. The more funds, and more donations we get the more veterans, the more dogs we can help. That is how people can help us."
Copyright 2014 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.