Operation Hero helps bring veterans and pets together


BUCHANAN, Va. (WFXR) – 86-year-old Korean War Veteran Burleigh Gilliam and his wife were looking to make a new friend.

“We’re just as happy as we can be, she’s just a cute little thing,” says Gilliam.

Instead Gilliam found mans best friend at Operation Hero, a pet adoption event that helps place rescue dogs with veterans. This is where Gilliam met Margo.

“I was looking for something real friendly and the first thing she did was come and lick my hand and I pet on her and she just laid down right beside me so that’s what I do at home,” explains Gilliam.

Pet adoption center Angels of Assisi partnered with New Freedom Farm to help find forever homes for not just dogs but bunnies as well. But for Angels of Assisi executive director Lisa O’neill this event is extra special.

“Many of the dogs here either come from hoarding situations, neglectful situations, and abusive situations the human society brought some dogs up that from a shelter that puts animals to sleep because of space so we thought we’d do a little bit of match making and for veterans who are willing and able to and wanting to open their homes to get the love of an animal these are some dogs that truly deserve that love.”

For Gilliam, love is what he has to give.

“She’ll sleep in the house right at the foot of our bed she’s got a cage thing and that’s where the other dogs slept. They go to bed with us.”

Organizers of the event say there were 10 adoptions for the day.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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