HAUPPAUGE, Long Island (WABC) -- A new veterinary mobile clinic run by Paws of War has hit the road, offering a multitude of services to veterans and first responders and their companion and service dogs.
Veterinary help for veteran Michael Kidd and his dog Amira is now only a short drive away.
"When she's hurting, I'm hurting," Kidd said.
"She's going to feel better by tonight, I promise," veterinarian Dr. William Phelps assured.
With the help of Dr. Phelps and now the mobile clinic, veterans and first responders can make sure their animals stay healthy.
"Their pet is everything to them," Paws of War co-founder Robert Misseri said. "Some of them can't even leave their home. So for us to be able to help that pet, help that veteran, we are helping both ends of the leash."
Misseri took the mobile clinic, designed to "Help a vet, save a pet," out for its first of what promises to be many trips to bring medical help and preventative care to dogs -- like 6-month-old Hero, James Donohue's service dog in training.
"Some veterans don't go out and pay for a veterinarian," said Donohue, and he watched his dog receive several vaccinations.
Donohue was injured in Operation Iraqi Freedom and needs Hero's help.
"I have Hero here, that will calm me down if my PTSD raises or I get really anxious," he said. "He's always here for me."
The clinic offers something simple as clipping a dog's nails to more complicated procedures.
"Shots and microchipping and basic procedures are offered, but I can follow up and do minor procedures," Dr. Phelps said. "And if we need to do bigger procedures, we can help and set them up."
It's a big relief for these veterans.
"My animals are, they are my life," Kidd said. "They are my support."
The Paws of War mobile clinic is funded strictly on donations.
"It's critical that people step up to help us, to support us," Misseri said. "Whether it's a veterinarian or just a monetary donation to keep this truck out there."
And making sure, as they say, they are helping both ends of the lease.
For more information on Paws of War or to make a donation, visit PawsOfWar.org.
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Paws of War brings veterinary clinic to veterans' service dogs
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