NEW YORK - For Army veteran Joel Blair this day couldn’t have come at a better time.
“I’m homeless,” he said. “Got no job.”
The 81-year-old is living in a veteran's temporary shelter and his dog Mandy could use some TLC. Joel was glad he could give it to her thanks to Veteran Appreciation Grooming Day at Paws of War.
Volunteers are bathing the dogs, cutting their nails, and trimming their coats when necessary. All free of charge. Dave Rogers made an appointment for his 3-year-old lab mix, Grunt.
“I have severe neuropathy in my left arm so bathing him is almost impossible,” Rogers said.
This is Paws of War’s first all-day grooming event and they packed the schedule with twelve dogs. They hope to host another one soon to meet the needs of disabled veterans.
“It’s literally a matter of feeding themselves or getting their animals groomed,” said Paws of War co-founder Robert Misseri.
It’s the least Harry Stolberg Jr. says he could do for Rocky the lab mix who helps his owner, a US Marine Corps. veteran and paramedic when he has nightmares.
“My family is always saying give him a bath give him a bath and sometimes it’s hard, so this is great to bring him here for some grooming to be done,” he said.
Each dog left with a bandana, smelling clean and ready to keep giving to their owners who have already given so much for our country.
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Paws of War's mission is to train and place shelter dogs to serve and provide independence to military vets that have suffered from the emotional effects of war.
The Long Island organization says it has placed more than 100 service dogs with veterans since 2014.