The Peggy Adams Animal Rescue
League in West Palm Beach, Florida, has partnered with Pets for Patriots, a nonprofit that connects military veterans with adopted pets, in order to make it easier for local veterans to get a furry companion, the Sun Sentinel reports.
The partnership will allow veterans to adopt a pet for a 20 percent discount, and the owners will then get long-term support for the animal including further discounts on veterinary care and financial assistance for food and other supplies, the news source reports.
"These are two groups that need one another," Rich Anderson, executive director and CEO of the rescue league, told the news source. "Readjusting is an emotional challenge
and a relationship with a loving pet is often the little boost our returning heroes need."
Research has shown that having a pet around can reduce stress and increases hormone levels associated with happiness, the media outlet reports. In addition, pets can ease feelings of loneliness and depression and encourage physical activity.
Veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have been using dogs as companions, protectors and therapists, according to Time magazine. The news source reports that dogs are able to comfort the soldiers after nightmares or prevent anxieties from becoming panic attacks.