Every animal deserves a warm home, sweet family, and delicious treats to look forward to every single day. At Lakeshore PAWS in Valparaiso, all of their dogs are handled with care and love but are longing for their forever, perfect home.
So for Veterans Day, Lakeshore PAWS, a volunteer-run, nonprofit organization that was established in 2011 whose mission is to find homes for abandoned and unwanted pets in Northwest Indiana, teamed up with 10 generous sponsors to offer the 2018 Vets for Pets, where the first 30 veterans could adopt a homeless dog for free. The following sponsors donated a total of $3,000 in order to make the Vets for Pets event possible: Centier Bank, Century 21 Alliance Group, Enviro-Dynamics, 1st American Management Co., Inc, Harley Davidson of Valparaiso, Langer & Langer Attorneys, Mitchell’s Appraisal Service, Paul’s Auto Yard, and Tom Little- Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance.
“It has been proven that pets help veterans in many ways,” said Jeanne Sommer, director and founder of Lakeshore PAWS. “We have had many veterans throughout the year who need help, financially, adopting a dog. This event is a great way to pay back the veterans who have helped all of us through their service.”
Veterans were also able to come into Lakeshore PAWS facility prior to Sunday in order to view the adoptable dogs. On Sunday, there were tables full of complimentary refreshments for veterans, along with tables full of purchasable apparel, accessories, and informational literature about Lakeshore PAWS. Veterans were then able to walk through the facility and view the dogs. One of those dogs was Sheba, a 3-year old black American Pitbull/Mix, who loves to play and cuddle, and is also house trained. Because Sheba has been at the shelter for the past two years, she was introduced first to all of the veterans, hoping to find her forever, loving home. Once the veterans found a dog they were interested in, they were able to interact with the dog in a private room away from others. Finally, veterans were able to take the dog home free of charge after filling out application paperwork.
Aside from maintaining the facility and taking care of the dogs, Lakeshore PAWS is constantly holding events to help their dogs get noticed and adopted. Volunteers are in constant need to help around the facility, tend to the animals, and help out at events.
“There are so many homeless dogs and it is so rewarding to be able to see them get their new homes by being a volunteer,” said Emily Johnson, 4-year volunteer at Lakeshore PAWS. “We always are looking for volunteers to help walk the dogs, help out at the front desk, and go to events. It is a great feeling to see a dog get adopted when you’ve helped out as a volunteer.”
It’s even better when you’ve helped out not only a dog in need, but also a veteran looking for a forever friend. To learn more about Lakeshore PAWS, view their adoptable dogs, and volunteer, please visit https://www.lakeshorepaws.org/.