Helen Woodward Animal Center (HWAC) based in Rancho Santa Fe, California kicked off its Memorial Day weekend with a visit from Army Unit PHCD-SD, otherwise known as the Public Health Command District San Diego. PHCD-SD came to HWAC to lend their support to the long-standing AniMeals program.
The AniMeals Program was developed in order to provide food for the pets of homebound elderly individuals throughout San Diego County. Their sheer dedication makes it possible for the homebound to be able to keep their pets that they so desperately need and love.
Unit PHCD-SD arrived in Rancho Santa Fe in order to empty, scrub, clean and inspect the AniMeals walk-in. They wanted to make certain that the conditions were in tip-top shape for the pets serviced by the program.
The loving support provided by the U.S. Army was overwhelming to the people associated with Helen Woodward. HWAC respects the military for their service, their sacrifice and their love. HWAC personnel are eternally grateful for the help that they have received.
Memorial Day is typically a day to honor our fallen military personnel. The Army stepped up on Thursday, May 23rd and lent their service this much cherished program. In fact 18 Army soldiers, comprised of both Miramar Station Vet Techs (who work directly with military working dogs) and SPC Food Inspectors (who maintain sanitary food conditions for the Army), visited HWAC AniMeals Supervisor, Wendy Brown.
Since its inception, over 1.3 million AniMeals have been served to pets of homebound elderly people, via partner organizations like Meals on Wheels and the Army’s efforts will truly touch hundreds of lives this year alone. “I feel incredibly honored to have received assistance from these local heroes,” stated Wendy Brown. “My father was in the Air Force and I was born on an Air Force base. The military has always had my utmost respect and admiration and I love the work I do with AniMeals, so combining them both was incredibly meaningful to me.”
Vet Tech Sergeant Carrie Diaz who headed the AniMeals cleaning and inspection project, spends her normal days working directly with military dogs who serve the United States Army. She also happens to have two rescue dogs at home named Romeo and Bear. “They are like my kids,” said Diaz. “They are a huge part of my world and assisting a program that keeps pets with their housebound-owners means a lot to me. All of us love the opportunity to learn about the communities we serve and help in whatever way we can.”
SPC Karisa Clenney, who generously donated her time to the project, was affected in a very personal way when she was introduced to Dorito, a shepherd blend orphan puppy. Holding and snuggling Dorito, Clenney couldn’t wait to pull up a picture of her own beloved shepherd dog at home, reminding Helen Woodward Animal Center staffers of the sacrifices Clenney and her fellow Army service members make every day.
The Army has lent a helping paw to Helen Woodward Animal Center before. The local soldiers have also assisted the Center’s Pet Encounter Therapy Program. HWAC personnel and their rescued pets are overwhelmed each and every time they receive the support!
If you would like more information on HWAC, phone (858) 756-4117 x 305 or click on www.animalcenter.org/volunteer!