Breaking News
More () »

Muscatine animal rescue launches program to provide veterans with emotional support animals

It Takes a Village Animal Rescue & Resources's program will waive adoption fees for veterans that need emotional support animals.
Credit: It Takes a Village Animal Rescue & Resources

MUSCATINE, Iowa — It Takes a Village Animal Rescue & Resources, an animal shelter in Muscatine, has launched a new program aimed at veterans who need emotional support animals.

"Freedom to Heal: Shelter Companions" will waive adoption fees for veterans who have a doctor's recommendation for an emotional support animal. Continuous funding will come from donations, fundraising events and grants.

Meagan Koehler, president and founder of It Takes a Village, said in a press release that the shelter has a special place in its heart for veterans. Her husband Casey Koehler, vice president and co-founder of It Takes a Village, has spent the last 17 years serving in the U.S. Navy.

"This program was created with a mission of healing at its core," Koehler said in a press release. "We know that research has shown that just petting a dog lowers the stress hormone cortisol, while the social interaction between humans and their pets actually increases levels of oxytocin, 'the feel-good hormone'."

The program received significant funding from the Martha Ann Lewis Living Trust, which donated $10,000 to help launch the initiative.

Qualifying veterans can learn how to get involved in the program by contacting the shelter at info@ittakesavillage.dog. To donate to the program, visit the It Takes a Village website and specify that your donation is for the Hero's Fund.

Download the WQAD News 8 App 
Subscribe to our newsletter 
Subscribe to our YouTube channel 

Before You Leave, Check This Out