Helping homeless veterans keep their best friends

Macradee Aegerter reports

- It's important to understand the relationship between a human and his pet.  And even more so, the bond between a veteran and his or her animal.

For William Adams, the bond he shares with Anastasia, his 8-year old German shepherd, he says, saved his life.

"Her full name is Anastasia.  This is the day she was born," the former military police officer said, pointing to a tattoo on his arm. "I made sure to have this on my arm so I would never forget the day that I got the one that actually started pulling me out of the depression."

Adams is currently homeless.  "I chose to be on the streets to be with her," he said.

"Housing for vets is great, but a lot of them won't take any dogs," explained Garrett Bishop, manager of Denver's Bark and Play doggie daycare.

Bark and Play is teaming up with Volunteers of America Veteran Services and the Center  for Animal Wellness vet clinic.

"Somebody's still got to pay that pet deposit.  Some guys can't and they won't separate from their animal.  They would rather stay on the street then be separated from them," Bishop continued.

Leading up to Armed Forces Day, they are trying to raise money to keep vets and their pets together.

Adams is the inspiration for this effort.

"We got to get off the streets.  She is the only thing in the world I have right now," Adams added.  "Without her and the ways she cares about me and everything she does for me, I would probably go into a deeper state of depression than I am now."

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