Our country has made great strides in recognizing the service of our military, but a mounting crisis is present for our young active duty and veteran families which greatly impacts our San Diego community.

The people serving our country did not come to San Diego for the weather, but to protect us and our great nation. They live in a region where housing prices are double the national average and are consistently challenged financially.

Approximately 117,000 (10%) of our nation’s military members are stationed in San Diego County and 85,000 are considered to be junior enlisted (those in the lower six pay grades). Many are married with children with little or no discretionary income.

It is estimated that as many as 1 million service members are discharged every five years, and thousands elect to make San Diego their home. Young military families in the lower ranks, veteran families, those afflicted with PTSD, TBI and veterans continue to battle to survive financially.

It is time to acknowledge this silent crisis within our active and retired military and as a community identify ways to help these fine men and women who have committed unconditionally to our country.

Recognizing that many military families face extreme hardships in providing veterinary medical care for their pets, Helping Paws was established by Craig J Mohnacky DVM, to provide financial assistance for these fine men and women. By keeping pets united with their military families and maintaining stability in these households, Helping Paws will help mitigate the effects of stress and uncertainty that exists due to the demands of military life.

Studies show the emotional and physical benefits that pets bring to their owners including enhancing their quality of life, serving as life-long companions, aiding in lowering blood pressure, building confidence, and helping to create a sense of purpose while lowering the incidence of suicide.

In summary, a pet commonly represents the only form of stability in a military household due to the demands of serving our country, so keeping pets united with military families should be paramount. Our motto: No military family should be faced with the choice of prematurely relinquishing a pet to a shelter or worse yet having to make the choice of economic euthanasia. We want our military families to always make the “Healthy Choice” for their pets.

Helping Paws is dedicated to financially assisting active, retired, and veterans by providing veterinary care. By connecting with citizens and the business community, we can ensure the continued success of our program.