On Nov. 8, Paws of War rolled out the Vets for Vets program, which is a custom-designed RV that has been outfitted to be a mobile veterinary clinic. The mobile clinic, staffed by a veterinarian, will be on the move providing care to many veteran pets.
“This is the first of its kind,” explained Robert Misseri, cofounder of Paws of War. “It’s exclusively for the pets of our disabled veterans and first responders. They need the assistance, we heard their call, and are doing all we can to answer it.”
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are four million veterans who have a service-connected disability, which is a disability that was a result of a disease or injury incurred or aggravated during active military service. Additionally, there are many disabled first responders also in need of assistance. Through the Vets for Vets mobile veterinary clinic, both disabled veterans and first responders will have the ability to obtain care for their pets. Some of the people may have difficulty getting out of their homes, while others may find veterinary care to be a financial burden.
Paws of War obtained the used 2006 26-foot RV and found that it was in some serious need of repair and renovation in order to meet its mission. That’s when the original manufacturer, La Boit Specialty Vehicles, stepped in and offered to completely refurbish the RV, free of charge. Now the mobile veterinary clinic has been completely customized for the Paws of War team and its mission.
“When we first heard about Paws of War, we did a thorough research of the organization and were very impressed with what they do,” said Gil Blais, president of La Boit Specialty Vehicles. “Being a veteran myself, I knew I wanted to help any way I could and renovating their vehicle was right up our alley. The entire La Boit staff felt the urge to help and did so by volunteering their time. We also had vendors donate equipment so it truly was a group effort. We wish Paws of War all the best for such an innovative program.”
Some of the veterinary services that will be provided by the Vets for Vets mobile clinic include annual vaccinations, dental care, allergy care, grooming/nail trimming microchipping, wellness checks, medication that they may not otherwise be able to afford, minor surgeries and bloodwork/testing.
“We are really excited about this new program and grateful to La Boit for their generosity in restoring the vehicle,” said Misseri. “We look forward to hitting the road and helping out our nation’s heroes.”
The celebratory launch of the unit will begin Nov. 8 at 1 p.m. at the H. Lee Dennison Building located at 100 Veterans Memorial Highway, Hauppauge.
Paws of War is currently seeking sponsors for the Vets for Vets mobile clinic. Those interested in sponsoring the clinic should contact the organization for more details and information. Paws of War is an all-volunteer organization that provides assistance to military members and their pets and provides service and service dogs to veterans suffering from PTSD.
To learn more about Paws of War or make a donation to support their efforts, visit www.pawsofwar.org.
—Submitted by Paws of War