Once-homeless veteran and shelter dog find new home and companionship with each other
Vietnam War Veteran Gary Pratt took his new dog, Tiny, home from Louisville Metro Animal Services Wednesday afternoon.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It's the start of a new life for a 22-and-a-half-year Army veteran and a shelter dog who were once both homeless.
“Everyone deserves someone to help them look forward to tomorrow,” said Beth Buster, founder and director of My Dog Eats First.
They both needed to be loved, and they got that from each other.
“He's small, he's a lap dog, and he's a cuddler," Gary Pratt said. "That's what I need."
Pratt suffers from PTSD after having served in the Vietnam War. He was a homeless veteran up until last week, but after finally getting a place of his own, it still wasn't a home.
“He said right off the bat he wanted something he would cuddle and sit in his lap,” said Christen Herron, a case manager at St. John Center for Homeless Men.
Herron, also known as "Tiny," helped Pratt find his new home and his companion. In turn, he named his new pup after her.
“His family is all from out of state, so his dog, named Tiny, is going to be his family,” Herron said.
Louisville Metro Animal Services also waived the adoption fee for Pratt, and My Dog Eats First will provide continued pet support, whether that be food, supplies or vet care.
“The opportunity for both of them to feel love and to be loved -- it gives Mr. Pratt purpose," Buster said. "It gives him something that will love him unconditionally and that he can love in return."
“He's a veteran that served our country," Herron said. "And he's been homeless. It's a great honor to be a part of this."
Once homeless and both living in shelters, the pair has finally found a new home and unconditional love.
“He's going to be the best company I have," Pratt said. "So that's what I need."
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