Free pets for veterans


By Wayne Allen

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In an effort to help local veterans, Sierra’s Haven For New and Used Pets along with community partners has started a program for veterans. Through the program area veterans can get a free pet from the shelter.

“If a veteran comes in and shows a military I.D. they can pick out any pet they want at no cost to them,” said Pam Wright, office manager for Sierra’s Haven For New and Used Pets.

According to program information, pets are a great source of socialization as well as a great addition to your family. A dog can help with daily exercise and help bring meaning to daily life.

Julie Blackburn, a Board of Director’s member of Sierra’s Haven, said the shelter has set up a special fund which covers the cost of a veteran adopting a pet. She said once a veteran chooses a pet, the cost of adoption is covered by the fund. The fund is set up to accept donations, for those interested in contributing.

The program also helps the shelter with over-population issues. Wright said as of Tuesday morning the shelter was housing 120 cats or kittens, when they are only set up to house between 85 and 90.

Blackburn is also conducting a pet food drive, during the month of August.

“The whole month of August I’m doing a pet food drive. They (Sierra’s Haven For New and Used Pets) have specific pet food brands they use. For every pound of food donated, they get one ticket to put into a chance of winning one of three gift certificates (to 83 Sweets),” Blackburn said. “The last donation was 130 pounds, so they received 130 tickets.”

To receive tickets for the pet food drive drawling, donations need to be dropped off at 83 Sweets located at 18 Ridge Lane, Lucasville.

Sierra’s Haven Animal Shelter is holding a $10,000 cash giveaway during the month of September. Tickets for the giveaway are $20 each and can be purchased at Sierra’s Haven For New and Used Pets and Shawnee Animal Clinic or at According to giveaway information, “simply check the Ohio Lottery Daily Mid-Day Pick 3 numbers during September to see if your ticket number matches the Pick-3 numbers. If so you win the prize for that day.”

The shelter is also planning a fall yard sale Sept. 10-12 in the lot next to Shawnee Animal Shelter from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Donations are also being accepted for the yard sale, items can be dropped off at the shelter.

Sierra’s Haven For New and Used Pets is located at 80 Easter Drive in Portsmouth. Hours of operation are Monday-Saturday 10 a.m. 4 p.m. and Sunday by appointment. For more information about the shelter and its ongoing programs call 740-353-5100, visit them at of find them on Facebook.

Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 1933 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT

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