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Pets for Vets Day is Monday

Kidsday reporters Justin Lopez, left, Jahdriel Licona and

Kidsday reporters Justin Lopez, left, Jahdriel Licona and Jayden Serrano talking via Google Dua with William Beckenhaupt and his service dog, Schnapps Credit: Mary Kate LaSpisa

Pets For Veterans Day is celebrated Monday. It is about pets helping veterans recently home from war.

Soldiers come back from war with many physical and emotional scars. To help, organizations like Paws of War match them with the perfect pet. The pet supports the veteran with love and by easing their stress.

We had William Beckenhaupt, a veteran who has a service dog, speak with our class via Google Duo. He told us this about his dog, Schnapps.

“I got Schnapps at the end of March, 2017," he said. "It took me a while to find the dog that would be perfect for me and what I need.”

Another thing he told us was that it took him a year to properly train his dog. Getting Schnapps changed his life: “He is my best friend.”

He told us you can’t interfere with a service dog when they are working because the dog can get distracted. Never pet a service dog unless you ask first.

Pets for Vets says the program helps soldiers strengthen social connections, increase mental well-being, enhance emotional health, encourage physical fitness, ease loneliness, improve relationships, overcome trauma, boost confidence and self-esteem and gain a new perspective.

You can help Pets for Vets by donating money, volunteering for events, and raising awareness for the need to support our heroes: the veterans.

Info: petsforvets.com

Mary Kate LaSpisa’s fifth-grade class, Evergreen Charter School, Hempstead

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