Vets Best Friends

vets best friends

a 501 (c)(3) non-profit


There is an epidemic in this world.

We have all heard the statistics, on average 22 veterans take their lives every day. The problem goes much deeper. Hundreds of thousands of veterans are enduring a life of unimaginable suffering. America is in an inconceivable state of disconnection. Veteran neglect, domestic violence, child maltreatment and animal cruelty are rampant. At Vet’s Best Friends we aim to change this one life at a time. By not only spreading awareness and educating the community, our goal is to train shelter dogs to become Emotional Support Animals (ESA) and pair them with veterans in need.

Viable solutions make the difference.

Countless dogs die each year from euthanasia … more than old age, cancer and incidental deaths combined. From the puppy mills and pet stores to the gambling culture that supports dog fighting and greyhound races; the lack of respect for the canine life has led to mass over breeding and exploitation.  Self-education, communal support, compassion and understanding are the only ways to make a difference in an ever changing and socio-economic world.

vets best friends, emotional support dogs

From this philosophy came the birth of a dream, Vet’s Best Friends.

With the financial support of people like yourself, we are able to make a difference in the lives of America’s wounded veterans and give shelter dogs a second chance at life one match at a time.

Your donations are tax deductible!

vets best friends, john ricketts, emotional support dogs

Sargent John Ricketts & his ESA dog “Sasha”

A Soldier’s Words

Having never grown up around dogs prioritizing self-sufficiency, I never could mentally grasp the value of canine support. Reality finally struck me when I realized I was about to breach my own door and I knew that help was needed and my self-sufficient idealism was only a hollow lie setting my wife and all those around me up for failure. At that point with incipient changes we sought out the expertise of Bill Berg founder of the Free Wheel Foundation and sponsor of Vet’s Best Friends, whose exceptional knowledge in this field educated me on canine support. Little did I know how extensive and thorough his operation is. He referred me to a gentleman named David Sanders who patiently and skillfully trains dogs, specifically Sasha who would become my dog. Willingly he taught me about dogs. His passion gave me a greater appreciation for canine merit. Even after she was given to me, he answered all of my silly questions. Their concerns for the dog’s well-being paralleled their concerns for me, as the animal becomes an extension of the handler. Since Sasha has become a part of my life, there haven’t been any extreme surges or perceived requirement to bring a war time mentality to the protection of my quiet and peaceful civilian life.

                                                                                                          -Sgt. John Ricketts, United States Army-




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