Paws to Patriots

Our Work

Paws to Patriots recently celebrated passing our 400th successful adoption matching Southland Veterans with companion shelter animals!† Formally named Pets to Patriots, Paws to Patriots is a Los Angeles Animal Alliance program powered by the Jason Debus Heigl Foundation. †The goal of Paws to Patriots is to honor and enhance the lives of our Heroes with companion animals in recognition and celebration of their service. Paws to Patriots simultaneously seeks to serve animal shelters and the wonderful homeless cats and dogs who are in need of loving forever homes.

There are 22.7 million American Veterans today who have served our country. Throughout the country, over 8 million cats and dogs enter American animal shelters each year.† Only 20% of Americans adopt from shelters.† Over 4 million are euthanized annually. Paws to Patriots is honored to serve our nation's Heroes and best friends.

Where to Adopt

Paws to Patriots is honored to have the founding partnership of Los Angeles County Animal Care and Control, who generously support the implementation of the program in its six shelter locations. Paws to Patriots is also honored to have the partnership of the Riverside County Department of Animal Services and its three shelters, as well as the San Bernardino City Animal Shelter.

Please stay tuned for more Paws to Patriots announcements!

Click here for a full list of participating shelters


Paws to Patriots is an adoption scholarship program that works with shelters †to facilitate shelter based companion animal adoptions for Veterans. Paws to Patriots believes in the life enhancing benefits of companion animals for all people and the special need to help our Heroes heal and thrive.

The goal of Paws to Patriots is to enhance the quality of life of both our nations Heroes and the companion animals in our shelters needing a forever home. Paws to Patriots is inspired by the powers and virtues of human-animal relationships. Paws to Patriots is not a clinical or medical program. Paws to Patriots and partner shelters also seek additional support to ensure Veterans experience high quality, life enhancing adoptions.

Paws to Patriots is a program of the Los Angeles Animal Alliance, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization and is powered by the Jason Debus Heigl Foundation in loving memory of†Frederick John Debus, who†served his country nobly in World War II and devoted the next 40 years of his life to the Navy Reserve, where he attained the rank of lieutenant commander, and later volunteered at the†Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Buffalo, NY for more than 25 years.

Uncle Jack, as he was known affectionately, was also very fond of both cats and dogs. So much so that he wrote a poem that spoke of his warm and reverent relationship with them, which, at his request, was placed on his funeral card:

Say this of him,
That he loved animals
Donít add that this was
A good thing or a fine tribute
Rather say that he considered
It a great gift for which
He is eternally thankful.
Frederick John Debus Ė In Memoriam