Our Pets and Vets program was launched in 2011 as a service providing emotional support animals to U.S. military heroes. Today, it has evolved into so much more. ARF’s services for Veterans include free adoptions and free veterinary care, but the centerpiece of the Pets and Vets program is our unique “shelter-to-service” pathway that transforms rescue dogs into psychiatric service animals for Veterans with PTSD, traumatic brain injuries, anxiety, and more. The first step on that pathway? Eight weeks of training in a volunteer foster home.
How to Get Started
We’re looking for very special people to foster these dogs in preparation for service dog training. These dogs spend eight weeks with their foster families, following a daily training regimen and attending weekly training sessions at ARF’s Walnut Creek headquarters. By getting a head start on training basics and being exposed to a variety of stimuli while staying with their foster families, these dogs are well-prepared for their service dog training once they’re paired with their Veteran handlers.
Does this sound like something you’re interested in? Sign up for a foster orientation session to begin! Once you have fostered a handful of dogs, you can take home your first service dog candidate.
Meet Our Service Dogs
Donate to Pets and Vets
Your gift will support Saving Both Ends of the Leash® — helping connect rescue dogs and Veterans in need. Thanks to your generosity, we are able to provide animal placement, professional training, and veterinary wellness care at no cost to Veterans.