Program in Florida pairs rescue animals with veterans - 7News Boston WHDH-TV

Program in Florida pairs rescue animals with veterans

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UNDATED (NBC) - A new program in Florida is trying to prevent overcrowding at animal shelters by helping to pair up pets with veterans.

Shelter Pets for Vets hopes increase the number of animal adoptions while also helping veterans in the process.

"It's not always pixie dust, and rainbows, and glitter at a shelter,” said Jeanette Jolly from Shelter Pets for Vets. "When you do see a connection that's being made with a veteran and they're making their new best friend, it makes it all worthwhile."

Vietnam veteran Jay Shelly said he would spend most of his day watching TV.

“I didn't move. If I went out the door I was throwing up,” Shelly said.

However, Shelly and his wife rescued two service dogs. Now PTSD and anxiety no longer control him.

"I get a life, not a new lease, I actually get a life."

There are chapters of Pets for Vets springing up around the country, including one in Boston.

According to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, there are more than 20 million veterans alive in the country and more than 1.5 million of them live in Florida.

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