VetPets of Southwestern Pennsylvania is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that raises money and releases funds (in the form of grants) to help veterans and first responders, adopt dogs for emotional support, work with our therapy dog or service dog training partners to gain a sense of purpose, and provide mental health activities to combat the invisible signs of war. We build upon that purpose by running small nonjudgmental Warrior Wellness Groups. These groups increase the likelihood of team success. This new approach of providing wellness and assistance to dog training has made us an excellent alternative in recovery approaches. Together, we can remove a few veterans per year from long waiting lists (2-4 years) and grant them a new possibility of hope.
Together, we grant hope.
Nathan Fosbaugh Memorial Fund
"Establishing this fund to honor Nathan has been one of the highlights of our work. We aim to add so much more but this is a great start."
- Nicole Malesic
(Vice President / Co-founder)
As of 2023, $2500 will be set aside from our Gala each year to help a Combat Veteran in need of PTSD Recovery Services.
Donate & Share Our Mission
We value God, service to others, and charity. These three values have stood at the center of the PA VetPets mission since our founding in 2020. We wholeheartedly commit to the work we do with passion and dedication, transparently sharing it locally and inviting others to take part. On top of this, we challenge ourselves to think creatively, applying an innovative approach to all that we do. This mission drives our continued success. Donate today to help spread our Mission.
Help Us Get More Combat Veterans involved in our Warrior Wellness Groups.
The foundation of this program is based on a Faith-based, Whole-Health Approach to Mental Wellness. We believe that this separates us from everyone else. We encourage wellness with well-trained dogs in a safe space where growth is measured by the completion of life goals and a more enriched relationship with self, family, and community.
Got a service dog? Sign up for our Thursday morning wellness groups.
Come to Our Fundraising Events
Our strength is amplified with collective action, and you can help make a difference with PA VetPets today! Come to one of our events and help us be that difference. The support we receive is a huge driver of the good work we do in addressing some of society’s most challenging problems.
Seeking Volunteers to help get therapy puppies socialized and trained for their future companion.
Ways To Help
What Are The Benefits Of Having A Service Dog?
Aiding Mobility: Service dogs can provide physical support to those with limited mobility such as wheelchair users. Mobility assistance dogs can be trained to do tasks such as open doors, turn light switches on and off, fetch objects for their owners, pay cashiers, and press elevator buttons.
Staying Constantly Alert: Service dogs can be trained to help alert people when they are experiencing a medical crisis. For example, a person with epilepsy having a seizure or a person with dysautonomia experiencing a syncopal episode (feeling of faintness and loss of consciousness). This can allow the owner to be prepared before an episode and get to a safe environment such as a soft surface or on the floor, in order to help prevent injury. During or after the episode, the dog can also seek additional help if needed.
Assisting With Everyday Tasks: Individuals with disabilities that cause fatigue, pain, trouble walking, or limited mobility can highly benefit from having a service dog. Service dogs can help people regain balance, prevent them from falling, fetch medications, and carry items such as groceries if the owner is too weak to move or hold them.
Providing Companionship: Not only do service dogs provide physical support, but they are also great for providing emotional support. Service dogs act as loyal companions which can help ease feelings of loneliness and provide a sense of security and consistent care. As they say, dogs are man's best friend! Studies have also shown that service dogs provide health benefits and can increase fitness, lower stress, and improve happiness.
Allowing Increased Independence: Service dogs allow people living with chronic illness and/or disability to experience a greater sense of freedom and independence. Having a service dog means you have to rely less on other humans to help with everyday tasks, which can allow you to feel restricted or dependent on others. Instead, you can transfer your needs to your service dog, who is constantly ready and available to assist you.
"When my service dog passed away, VetPets was there and I absolutely need this in my life. It gives a reason to trust again and believe in good people."
"VetPets not only raises money for a great cause but they provide a nonjudgmental environment. We do more than just train, we recover."
"No Veteran has ever committed suicide with a dog. Zero! And that's why I will support this program. They walk the walk."
"VetPets is different because it combines wellness activities with dog training and emotional support. My favorite part about VetPets is the small Wellness groups."