IMPERIAL — The valley provided the perfect spring weather for the first-ever, Pet for Vets 5K, a fundraising event geared to help the non-profit organization, Pets for Vets, unite veterans with comfort dogs.
“It makes me feel good because there is support for vets,” said Jose Benavides, an active duty sailor stationed at El Centro Navy Air Facility. “People care.”
The Pets for Vets Organization recently opened a local chapter for the Imperial Valley this March. They pair re-habilitated and trained shelter pets with veterans for service dogs or comfort companions, completely free of charge.
Tanya Bonillas, Marisela Bonillas, and Glenna Barrett decided to start a local chapter after meeting at a tea for Extraordinary Valley Woman Magazine in May of 2014. Since then, the trio has met monthly since then.
Their idea of using dogs to comfort vets have received a lot of positive support from both the community and the American Legion, according to Barrett.
The organization is completely volunteer and will begin training May 16th.