SALISBURY — A local nonprofit pet rescue is working to assist veterans who own pets and need help in transporting their companions.
Rick Roper, president of Maverick Pet Transportation and Rescue, has been offering volunteer services with a team of helpers over the past three years. When veterans are admitted to a hospital or come under other unfortunate circumstances, some do not have family or others to care for their pets while they are away.
So Roper steps in. He spoke at a symposium at the Department of Veteran Affairs when the program was first offered, sharing that Maverick’s services are available to veterans in need of a care for their pets.
“If we have the funding, we can put the dog in boarding,” he explained. “We get them vaccinated and brought up to date with their vaccines.”
He said six dogs have gone through the rescue’s program so far.
Even if the pet is difficult to retrieve from a home, a volunteer with the transportation nonprofit can visit a veteran’s home while he or she is out to provide food and water for a pet not comfortable with being removed. The flexibility of the program has ensured the care of pets loyal to their veteran owners, even if they could not go to a boarding center.
Roper also shared that the organization is looking into including veteran identifiers to profiles of microchipped dogs. Some veterans do not have IDs to identify their status.
“Sometimes when animal control gets calls to go to these homes, they’re not told ‘this is a veteran,’ so sometimes they have no idea,” he said. “A lot of veterans use these dogs for recovery and to get out of the house. It doesn’t matter what side you’re on, veterans need help. They’ve been through enough … I’m not here to take the veteran’s dogs, we’re here to get them the help they need.”
“The idea long term is to get out through the VA and get on veterans’ mailing list that ‘hey, keep your animals updated, we can help you get them vaccinated or get them food,’ ” Roper said. “It’s just a place to start.”
You can visit www.maverickpet.org or the organization’s Facebook page for more information.
“The idea long term is to get out through the VA and get on veteran’s mailing list that ‘hey, keep your animals updated, we can help you get them vaccinated or get them food’,” said Roper. “It’s just a place to start.”