“Loneliness is crippling,” Kevin says. “I first met Bella at one of the loneliest and darkest times in my life..."
Kevin L., 55, is a Veteran of the United States Air Force. His best friend and constant companion is a little black Chihuahua named Miss Bella. Kevin depends on her for companionship and the unconditional love that only a beloved emotional support animal can provide. She looks to him for shelter, food and affection.
When Kevin fell on hard times and could no longer take care of Bella on his own, he turned to PAWS/LA for help. The nonprofit, which has been assisting low-income pet guardians in Los Angeles since 1989, provided them with free pet food, supplies and veterinary care when they needed it most.
PAWS/LA TO LAUNCH PROGRAM FOR VETERANS WITH PTSD AND THEIR PETS
Bella transformed Kevin’s life. Thanks to her, Kevin has managed to stay sober. Her love has allowed him to put his life back on track. He now has a job, which he enjoys and is good at, and he even has a place to live. Kevin says that Bella gives him a reason to wake up in the morning and to come home at night.
“I will always be grateful for the help that PAWS/LA provided us,” Kevin says. “If it wasn’t for PAWS/LA, I might have been forced to give her up or lost her to malnutrition. But, like I said, she’s still right here by my side.”
On Veterans Day 2016, PAWS/LA will launch a new program called PROJECT PETSTRONG to help veterans like Kevin benefit from the healing bond between humans and their companion animals.
“I see a lot of veterans with pets living on Skid Row,” Kevin says. “Even though much progress has been made in getting veterans housed, I see these men and women of all ages and backgrounds on the street. As a veteran, I know that living by yourself can be hard and lonely. Our companion animals help us fight that depression and loneliness.”
For more information about PAWS/LA and PROJECT PETSTRONG, please contact Diego Ortiz at 213-741-1950 ex 105 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org