Area veteran finds home for best friend

Area veteran finds home for best friend

Amarillo, TX - An area veteran battling PTSD is dealt an even harsher situation, possibly losing the dog he calls his best friend.

Now, members of the community are coming together to make sure this vet, along with many others never again lose the things they love the most.

Thousands of veterans struggling with PTSD use service dogs to keep them calm in situations that trigger anxiety. However, one local vet almost had this resource taken from him completely.

Serenity is not just a dog, she's a companion, a best friend, and most of all a light in the darkness for a local veteran who wishes not to be named.

Both Serenity and her 26-year-old soldier have witnessed unthinkable things. Serenity was previously abused by a former owner, and her soldier witnessed the brutality of war in Iraq.

There was a tearful goodbye between the two as the former soldier headed off to California to be treated for his PTSD. The facility in California doesn't allow dogs, and if it weren't for the help of some locals, this heartfelt goodbye could've been forever.

"You know, a lot of times when you come back and in his situation, you feel there is no one you can go to, no one else you can talk to," Dale Potter, an area veteran, said. "An animal is always there to listen to you."

Fortunately, that's not the case, and Serenity has found a temporary home at Rowdy Dogs Pet Resort free of charge while her owner is away.

"He's been through a very rough time and the least that we can do here in our community is ensure that he gets the support he needs to better himself and during that time know that what he cares about most is going to be taken care of," Potter said.

Jena McFall, the Executive Director at the Amarillo Panhandle Humane Society, said Serenity is very calm.

"You can tell when they're together how much she calms him," McFall said. "I mean they are stuck like glue to each other."

In similar situations, veterans who have to leave their pets are forced to take them to the pound where they risk being euthanized, but not anymore.

"We started the Operation Serenity and we want to help other veterans and active military personnel with whatever needs they might have with their pets," McFall said. "If they need food or if they need us to help them with getting them spayed or neutered or shots or dog training or stuff like that we can help with that would maybe help give them some piece of mind."

Hopefully Serenity will be reunited with her owner in about 3 months.

If you wish to help area veterans find a dog  for companionship, donate here.