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Enriching the lives of rescue animals and veterans

Our mission

The mission of VCAS is to enrich the lives of veterans, military families, and dogs through the many benefits of the human-animal bond.

Veteran Companion Animal Services (VCAS) is dedicated to improving the lives of both rescue animals and veterans in need. We believe that the bond between animals and humans can be incredibly therapeutic, and we work to place rescue animals with veterans who can benefit from their companionship and the human-animal bond.

By providing structure, companionship, and unconditional love, these animals can help veterans dealing with physical or mental health issues, including PTSD, depression, anxiety, and social Isolation. The veteran also provides a stable forever home for their new companion. Our goal is to make a positive impact on both the animals and the veterans’ lives, creating a win-win situation for all involved. Put another way:

We rescue dogs to rescue veterans.

Seeing Is Believing

There’s no better way to experience the impact of our mission than by watching our story video series.

A Hero’s Journey 7:12

Learn how these veterans found a better way to transition into life outside of active military service.

Our Community Impact 10:59

Celebrating the success of efforts and the impact it has had on the veterans, their families, and the community as a whole.

Our Programs

Rescue Dog Placement Program

Many service men and women return home finding that their structure and purpose have been lost. Through the rescue dog placement program, VCAS returns this structure and purpose with the unconditional love of a dog. VCAS gets to know the veteran and matches them with a rescue dog that will fit their lifestyle and needs – creating a mutually beneficial relationship. VCAS covers the costs of all food, veterinary care, training and supplies for the first year.

VCAS is currently placing dogs in central Ohio.

Frontline Dog Training Program

The Frontline Dog Training Program is a 7-week long training class taught by a professional dog trainer. These trainings are open and at no cost to all veterans and military families that currently own a dog.  It may just sound like a simple step to prevent pulling on the leash, but our training program does so much more. As many veterans struggle with social isolation, group training allows veterans to connect with peers as well as VCAS volunteers. 

The classes focus on manners, working through experiences that dogs would be exposed to in their everyday lives, such as walking on a leash, sitting, staying and maintaining focus during distractions. Classes are held at VFW and American Legion post locations throughout central Ohio. 

Veteran Community Outings

After a veteran receives a dog or attends a training class they are still a part of the VCAS family. The community events we host give veterans a chance to build lasting friendships and create an atmosphere to connect with other veterans and have fun. We use these opportunities to celebrate their contributions and as a check in to see how they are doing and how we can help.


Our primary focus is to make sure Veterans who need a dog, get a dog. Those Veterans and their families who already have a dog can also apply for our Dog Training Class.

New Veteran Application
Apply for a rescue dog
Frontline Dog Training Class
Apply to join class

Our Amazing Sponsors

Companies can get involved! Contact Us

Meet our Shelter Partners!

In Memoriam

Celebrating and honoring the furry companions that brought so much joy to the lives of our veterans.


October 30, 2016 - October 13, 2022

She was my sweet girl. My princess.
My Bernedoodle, Bernadette.
Thanks to VCAS Frontline training, nearly all her walks were off leash so she was free to chase all the squirrels. She loved going for rides, especially on the golf cart.
Her favorite treat was a pig's ear and she enjoyed rotisserie chicken mixed in her food. She was anxiously waiting for winter to play and eat the snow.
She wasn't really interested in playing fetch and didn't have a favorite toy but she would go crazy for a plastic water bottle or paper towel roll.

-Liz Nestinger

Dogs leave paw prints on our hearts.

Let's get connected

  • We've got some great news for you. Join our mailing list to hear stories of our veterans and the dogs who rescued them.