Paws for Patriots: Animal League America’s SPOT Program Honors Our Veterans

///Paws for Patriots: Animal League America’s SPOT Program Honors Our Veterans

Veterans Day is a time to salute the dedication and sacrifice of our nation’s heroes. North Shore Animal League America’s Shelter Pet Outreach Team (SPOT) honors their service not just on this special day but throughout the year. For over a decade, our SPOT volunteers have been making regular visits to the New York State Veterans Home at St. Albans, bringing joy, comfort and companionship in the form of puppies to brighten the days of the residents.

The SPOT program is more than just a visit; it’s a connection for those who may find themselves isolated or in need of a furry friend’s affection. These small interactions hold tremendous therapeutic value – proven to reduce stress, alleviate anxiety, and rekindle cherished memories. Deirdre Samuel, Coordinator of Volunteer Services for St. Albans, emphasized the profound impact of the human-animal bond: “Dogs offer unconditional love, with no judgment. Their affection reaches those who might not communicate verbally, particularly residents with Alzheimer’s or dementia. You can witness the change in their expressions and the happiness it brings.”

This summer our partnership celebrated a milestone as a group of veterans from the St. Albans Veterans Home made a heartwarming field trip to our Adoption Center for the first time. It was a special occasion for these heroes, as they were able to tour Bianca’s Furry Friends Feline Adoption Center and interact with cats and kittens, in addition to getting precious snuggle time with our pups.

SPOT volunteer Carol Davang has witnessed the transformational nature of these visits firsthand: “We’ve just seen incredible growth in the residents over the years – from those who never spoke to others who shift from a bad mood to a great one. The impact on the staff is remarkable as well. They all want to see the puppies. It’s such a positive, uplifting experience for everyone involved.”

Across generations and wars, the shared love for our four-legged friends unites us all. This Veterans Day, North Shore Animal League America proudly honors our heroes and reaffirms our dedication to providing the healing and happiness that comes from animals.

Please Support Our SPOT Program

You can help brighten the days of thousands of seniors and children with special needs by supporting the Animal League’s SPOT program.

Contact our Shelter Pet Outreach department for more information on our SPOT Program at [email protected].

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By |2023-11-28T09:46:35-04:00November 8th, 2023|