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IMPERIAL â€” The valley provided the perfect spring weather for the first-ever, Pet for Vets 5K, a fundraising event geared to helpÂ the non-profit organization, Pets for Vets, Â unite veterans with comfort dogs.
â€œIt makes me feel good because there is support for vets,â€ said Jose Benavides, an active duty sailor stationed at El Centro Navy Air Facility. â€œPeople care.â€
The Pets for Vets Organization recently opened a local chapter for the Imperial Valley this March.Â They Â pair re-habilitated and trained shelter pets with veterans for service dogs or comfort companions,Â 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 vetsÂ 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.