Have you ever had a question and didn’t know where to find the answer? If so, you’ve come to the right place.
This section is a compilation of answers to the questions most commonly asked by our constituents. Just start by following one of the links below. If you can’t find the question you wanted to ask, don’t hesitate to contact us.
- What is VCAS?
- What does your organization do?
- How does VCAS work?
- What makes VCAS different?
- What types of dogs are available?
- Where do the adoptive dogs come from?
- Where does VCAS place dogs?
- How do I apply for a dog?
- Does VCAS offer any other animals besides dogs?
- How long does the entire process take?
- What happens if the dog and our family become incompatible for any reason?
- Who pays for the dog's expenses after the first year?
- Does VCAS interact with any other veteran support groups?
- How can I help VCAS?
- Why should I donate?
- How are donation dollars spent?
- Can someone from VCAS speak at our organization?
- I can’t donate but would love to help, how can I volunteer?
- What other organizations provide resources to veterans and military families?
- Does VCAS have any sponsors?
What is VCAS?
Veteran Companion Animal Services (VCAS) is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization whose purpose is to serve veterans and/or military families through the benefits of the human-animal bond. To fulfill this purpose, VCAS focuses on placing rescue animals with veterans and military families where companion animal ownership will be beneficial. VCAS provides financial support that assists with general care costs, training, and veterinary expenses so that companion animal ownership is an option and not a burden. This organization recognizes the many sacrifices made by American veterans and military families and hope that our efforts can now serve them.
What does your organization do?
Veteran Companion Animal Services (VCAS) places rescue dogs with veterans and/or military families that can benefit from companion animal ownership. VCAS provides financial support that assists with general care costs, training, and veterinary expenses so that companion animal ownership is an option and not a burden. Please check out our “How it Works” tab to find the specifics on how we create beneficial bonds.
How does VCAS work?
Veterans and/or military families apply for a dog through our website. We do not require that veterans have any preexisting conditions, such as PTSD or TBI to qualify. VCAS then hand selects a rescue dog that will best fit the lifestyle and need of the veteran and/or family. The focus is then put on creating a strong bond through group training classes. These classes are set up for the veterans and/or families and they focus on communication, ultimately leading the handler and dog to their American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen Certification. As many veterans feel isolated in civilian society, such group training provides needed social interactions and lessens the pressure as the focus is primarily on the dog. VCAS also helps ease the financial responsibilities of the veteran and/or family to make companion animal ownership a benefit, and not a burden. For more specifics please check out our “How it Works” tab.
What makes VCAS different?
Veteran Companion Animal Services (VCAS) is a unique organization. The following describes how we offer a distinctive program to veterans and/or military families:
1) Veterans are not required to have a documented condition such as PTSD or TBI to qualify for a dog.
2) We will also place dogs with military families that have an active duty service member on deployment or soon to be deployed.
3) We require, set up and pay for the training classes that veterans/families go to with their dogs - this enhances the bond between human and companion animal (other organizations do training and then place with the veteran). In addition, this provides a valuable social outlet for veterans. One-on-one training will also be offered for veterans that do not feel comfortable working in a group setting. To be a part of the program veterans and/or military families have a timeline to complete their American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen Test (AKC CGC) and pass it (this promotes proper pet care and enhances the bond). We set up the training groups just for veterans and/or military families.
4) We financially support the dog for the first full year, then provide programs for discounted services for the life of the dog
What types of dogs are available?
All types. The requirements for our companion animals do not revolve around their breed, but are highly focused on their temperament and compatibility with the veteran and/or military family. VCAS places mixed breed, as well as purebred rescues, so long as they are in need of a home and pass our behavioral evaluation they qualify for placement.
Where do the adoptive dogs come from?
Adoptive dogs come from variety of rescues and shelters. We do not work specifically with one rescue or shelter, which allows us to find the best-suited companion animals for our veterans and/or military families.
Where does VCAS place dogs?
VCAS is currently placing dogs with veterans and military families in Central Ohio. In the future, VCAS plans to place dogs both within this region and beyond it.
How do I apply for a dog?
Does VCAS offer any other animals besides dogs?
At this time VCAS is only placing dogs. However, we do recognize that other species can provide many benefits and will likely, in the future, offer such species through our program.
How long does the entire process take?
The length of the process varies. It can depend on when the application is submitted, the time of year (we typically do not place dogs around the holidays or during the winter months) and how many veterans and/or military families we are finding companion animals for. Please feel free to e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more specific information at the time of your application.
What happens if the dog and our family become incompatible for any reason?
If for any reason the dog and your family become incompatible contact us immediately. If you can no longer keep the dog for such reasons we will take the dog and place it with one of our foster homes.
Who pays for the dog's expenses after the first year?
After the first year, the owner acquires the expenses of the dog. However, VCAS works to find discounted prices and programs for our owners and will discuss these with our applicants at that time.
How can I help VCAS?
There are many ways that you can help VCAS. You can volunteer for events, be a part of our planning, be a public speaker on behalf of VCAS, foster dogs, help fundraise and/or donate. If you have any specific skills that you would like use please let us know! A great way to get started is to sign up for our mailing list (under “Our News”) and let us know your areas of interest. We welcome and look forward to your involvement!
Why should I donate?
Donations are key to our ability to place dogs with veterans and/or military families. Without donations, VCAS would not be able to provide these beneficial bonds. All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law and/or regulations.
How are donation dollars spent?
Donations dollars are responsibly spent to cover the adoption and placement of dogs with veterans and/or military families. The majority of our funds go into dog placement and the cost of caring for the dogs. A minority of donations are spent on necessary administrative and fundraising costs.
Can someone from VCAS speak at our organization?
Yes. VCAS has speakers that would be eager to come talk about our organization at your event. Please contact us at email@example.com for more information.
I can’t donate but would love to help, how can I volunteer?
There are many ways that you help! You can volunteer for events, be a part of our planning, be a public speaker on behalf of VCAS, foster dogs and help fundraise. If you have any specific skills that you would like to use please let us know! A great way to get started is to sign up for our mailing list (under “Our News”) and let us know your areas of interest. We welcome and look forward to your involvement!
What other organizations provide resources to veterans and military families?
Does VCAS have any sponsors?
Yes. VCAS is grateful for its many sponsors. See sponsors below.