When the Charleston chapter of Pets for Vets matched Veteran Todd Wooten with his new animal companion, Emma, it was big news! So big that The Moultrie News covered the match. An excerpt is below and you can read the full article here.
Todd Wooten is originally from North Carolina and joined the military in his mid-20s. He served for three years in the Army and was released after being injured in the Iraq war.
His desire to serve came from his grandfather, who retired from the Navy after over 20 years.
Wooten and his family eventually landed in Charleston after his military retirement.
While at the doctor’s office in the Veteran’s Administration Hospital, Wooten mentioned he wanted to take another route instead of being prescribed lots of medication. He’d heard some positive things about companion or service dogs.
“They directed me to Pets for Vets and the team and I hit it off”, said Wooten.
Wooten and his family are in love with Emma. “She is amazing. She makes me smile often and helps relieve stress. It is a different type of medication,” Wooten said. “She is full of energy, and is so loving. There is just so much about her … she loves being with the family. She wants all kinds of attention.”
He said it’s like having another child but she’s a big kid for her age. She doesn’t know she is too big to be a lapdog and Wooten’s not going to tell her.
Wooten said that having Emma in his life has made a huge difference. Although it has only been a couple of weeks, not having to take an abundance of medicine is exactly what he’d hoped for.
“It was a long road. It took a while,” said Wooten. “But the great thing with Les is that he and his team are there to find the right dog that would fit the person needing it. Every recipient is going to have a different scenario and reason for needing a companion dog. It is amazing how they nailed this one. Amazing.”