VCAS in the news

Retired Navy commander shares bond with companion dog

November 11th, 2021

“I needed a companion dog. I need some dog that will  be there for me, to give me unconditional love,” he said.

Now, 3-year-old Alice is his companion, his motivation for taking on a new day and his sidekick for health procedures to come.

“She’ll be right there with me. So I can’t imagine life without a dog. She’s not members of my family — we’re members of her family,” said Haas.

Heather Lane is the founder and CEO of Veteran Companion Animal Services.

Over the last couple years, the organization has placed 16 rescue dogs with central Ohio veterans of all ages and backgrounds, and she hopes to increase outreach in 2022.

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Career Navy man Tom Lennon finds fulfillment helping connect veterans with companion dogs

November 11th, 2021

Eddie Broom got a new dog and plenty of advice last week.

The Blacklick resident and U.S. Army veteran welcomed a new family member, a female bulldog mix named Marley.

It was the 14th pairing of rescue dogs with veterans by the Delaware-based nonprofit organization Veteran Companion Animal Services (VCAS).

Broom, 36, held Marley’s leash in the parking lot of his condominium — and later inside — as he absorbed tips and observations from Marley’s foster family, VCAS staffers and a veterinarian.

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Central Ohio organization pairs local vets with companion dogs

November 11th, 2021

Grimm is a proud Marine Corps Veteran. He is tough, he is dedicated, and he has a good sense of humor.

“Marines have the longest, hardest training,” said Grimm. “Plus, their uniforms look amazing.”

After two tours and eight years of service, Grimm was honorably discharged. Since then, he has struggled with PTSD.

“Fireworks started going off and I snapped,” said Grimm. “I started putting my hands over my ears and going almost into a fetal position.”

During his darkest days, Grimm knew he had to get help. That’s when he found VCAS, Veteran Companion Animal Services.

VCAS is a Central Ohio organization that works with local shelters to pair veterans with a companion dog.

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Central Ohio organization pairs local vets with companion dogs

November 11th, 2021

Navy veteran Tom Lennon continues to give back to veterans during their time of need. Lennon works as a volunteer with the Veteran Companion Animal Services. Lennon joins NewsNation Prime to talk about how the organization pairs local vets with companion dogs.

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Organization provides comfort and therapy to veterans through service dogs

November 10th, 2021

Service dogs provide comfort and therapy to many people, including those that have served in the military, but sometimes those placements can be hard to come by.

It’s why one organization is trying make that companionship a little easier for veterans here in central Ohio and help enrich the lives of those who risk theirs to protect our nation.

“I talk to people, I’m happy, I get up in the morning, we go to the dog park,” says Andrew Sherman, a U.S. Navy Veteran as he reflects on how he’s changed since April.

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Connecting veterans with animal companions to treat PTSD

June 11th, 2020

When Jason Manley left the military after five combat tours from 2002 to 2012, chronic PTSD was devastating his life.

For the next four years, he struggled with the darkness of his thoughts, bouts of homelessness, and the pain of not feeling like he had a purpose anymore.

Manley was raised by his grandparents and from an early age the military seemed like a way to find a new family and a place to belong.

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Through Delaware nonprofit, rescue dogs find home with veterans in need

May 2nd, 2020

Life hasn’t been easy for Mark Harris since he retired from the Ohio National Guard in 2018.

Though he is proud of his service to his country, problems with his back and post-traumatic stress disorder have plagued the 46-year-old as a result of a year-long deployment to Afghanistan in 2013.

An animal, he thought, might help ease both the mental and physical pain he endures nearly every day. Though ample programs exist to help connect veterans with furry companions, Harris said he applied to several — and heard nothing.

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