U.S. Army Veteran and dog share special bond

Through a program called Pets for Patriots, offers free dogs to our nation's veterans

Young-Williams Animal Center is offering free dog and cat adoption to veterans - and not just on Veterans Day, but all year round!

That's through its partnership with a program called Pets for Patriots.

Molly and Richard Vogt are a pair who were matched through that partnership. On Friday morning, they were standing on Howard Baker Junior Drive, waiting to walk in Knoxville's annual Veterans Day parade.

"She loves everybody," Vogt said, looking down his panting, smiling, sturdy and chocolate-coated 2-year-old pup.

Vogt is a veteran, who served in the U.S. Army in the late 1960s.

"Two years. I was drafted," he explained.

That was the only long-term time in his life he was without a dog.

"If you show them love, they'll show you a lot of love. I don't think you can beat that," he said.

Vogt and Molly permanently paired up in June.

"She owns every couch in the house. She's got her own bed," Vogt said. "She tried to get into my bed but I didn't allow that, you know and everything, so she went and found her own."

Vogt, who lives alone, said Molly is his constant companion.

Her smile is recognizable.

"She is on the...front cover of UT Law Magazine, fall edition," Vogt said. "They've got an article in there about these dogs."

Molly is a Staffordshire Terrior, one of the breeds commonly referred to as a pit bull.

"We're kind of helping to dispell the myth that pit bulls are bad dogs," Young-Williams Animal Center's spokesperson Courtney Kliman said.

She walked with Vogt and Molly in the parade Friday.

"Dogs are forever companions. They can help you," Kliman said. "If you have anxiety or depression or you're going through some things, dogs don't judge you. They don't talk back, and they're there for you, and we have dozens of them every single day."

While freedom isn't free, the men and women who fought for it can get a cat or dog - free of charge.

(© 2016 WBIR)


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