A Detroit-based not-for-profit is pairing veterans with senior dogs in need of homes for matches that benefit all involved.
The organization, One Last Treat, was originally conceived by founder Joel Rockey to deliver actual treats to shelter dogs scheduled for euthanization as a way to make their final moments a bit brighter. After some shelters raised concerns about attracting unwanted attention, Rockey began exploring other ways to make a similar impact. One Last Treat now works to give older shelter dogs brighter futures by matching them with adoptive families. Once a candidate dog has been identified, it is moved to a temporary foster home before eventually being adopted into a permanent home.
Beyond matching older dogs with new homes, the organization also has a special program, “Vet Friend Till the End,” that works specifically to pair dogs with veterans. Under this special program, dogs adopted by veterans receive free veterinary care for life. Rockey, himself a Navy veteran, sees particular value in pairing veterans with older dogs.
“The biggest thing is self importance. As a vet myself, I think veterans, when they get out of the military, aren’t asked to do anything anymore. They start losing self importance. Everyone is thanking them, but they’re not being asked to do anything. When they’re taking care of a senior animal, they’re needed and it creates a new sense of value in their life.”
— Joel Rockey, Founder, One Last Treat
For more information about One Last Treat and its Vet Friend Till the End program, including ways you can contribute, visit their website.