Patriots and Paws helps veterans and their pets

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ANAHEIM, Calif. (KABC) — A local organization is giving back to veterans in a big way. It’s not only helping homeless vets find a place to live, but also providing for their pets.

The VFW Post 3173 in Anaheim held a big St. Patrick’s Day celebration and fundraiser for local nonprofit Patriots and Paws. The organization offers SoCal veterans, active military and reservists gently used furniture and home items at no cost.

“Especially the vets coming home from being deployed, they have nothing, and it gives them a kick start,” said Chuck Gillespie, Vietnam veteran.

“The other thing I know we have over there is wheelchairs for veterans,” said Bobby McDonald, U.S. Navy Vietnam veteran.

Patriots and Paws founder Penny Lambright says there’s even more need when it comes to pets.

“There’s a lot of veterans that are on the street that have animals and they would go and get housing if they could take their animals with them; most places won’t allow them to have their animals,” said Lambright.

So now their big goal: have a kennel of their own.

“So that when a veteran has a need to go take care of themselves, they don’t have to pay for kenneling. So, let’s say they have a mental health crisis. We would be able to kennel their animal for them,” said Lambright.

The fundraiser was put on by the Yorba Linda Sunrise Rotary Club. They came with a $5,000 check to kick off donations.

“There’s no discrimination. They can just walk in, show their veterans card and take whatever they need to decorate their home and make it a comfortable place,” said Vince Campion, Yorba Linda Sunrise Rotary Club.

For more information on the program, visit www.patriotsandpaws.org.

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