Illinois animal shelters honor Veterans Day with ‘Pets for Vets’ Day

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CHICAGO -- Just inside Chicago Animal Care and Control Veterans Day, comes with new hope for a new home.

State Comptroller Susana Mendoza, a pet lover herself, made the push and enlisted 14 shelters across the state to allow veterans to come in on Veterans Day, pick out a pet and adopt for free.

“So many different veterans, their lives have literally been saved by an animal that they’ve rescued,” she said.

Joe Baar Topinka’s last name may sound familiar—his mother was Former State Treasurer and Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka—who began the Pets For Vets Day years ago, before her death.

“I dealt a lot with dog issues when I was on active duty,” he said. “This is about veterans but it’s also about my mothers’ legacy.”

“I spent 10 years working in army medicine as a lawyer and so dogs were always a big issues for our deployed soldiers coming back because when you have issues, behavioral health issues, animals can lend themselves with so much comfort to soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines,” Topinka said.

“Now that I’m the comptroller I thought why don’t we double down and do it even bigger and better because that’s what Judy would have wanted to do,” Mendoza said.

Through her, honoring the many veterans who’ve served the United States of America and certainly those who live in the state of Illinois.

The adoption fees are being paid for by private sponsors for the day. A way to give thanks to those who have served, who may find comfort in having a new best friend, rescued from the shelter.