BEE CAVE, Texas (KXAN) — A veteran in Bee Cave is starting a non-profit to help fellow veterans with PTSD who need service animals.
Jack Bodolosky was a combat veteran in Desert Storm, and he’s also worked in the veterinarian field for years. So he’s combining his two passions through the Companion Animal Foundation. The non-profit will provide pet insurance for veterans’ service animals.
Bodolosky says often, charities will donate the service animals and the cost of their training to veterans, but don’t help with any care after the fact.
“They’ll provide you the animal,” Bodolosky said, “But what happens after that? It’s like paying for car insurance, or paying for gas or property insurance. The gifts that we give our veterans they need and they deserve, but once we give it to them, we kind of forget. I don’t want to forget.”
Bodolosky says relieving men and women who’ve served of the expensive costs of maintaining their animals’ medical care encourages them to take proper care of their pets, which often results in the animals living longer.
“When veterinarians see the animals and take care of them like they should, it’s giving that pet more time on this earth to do their job to service a veteran that’s in need, and it’s one other thing that a veteran doesn’t have to worry about,” he said.
Companion Animal Foundation accepts donations, but Bodolosky says he plans to fund the non-profit primarily through his work as a real estate agent. He promises to donate a portion of his commissions from every house sold to the program. He says the amount of his commission donated also serves as a tax write-off for his clients.
Bodolosky’s goal is to provide pet insurance for 100 local service animals in 2018. As a Desert Storm combat veteran who suffers from PTSD, he says animals can make all of the difference for former service members struggling to adapt back into civilian life.
“They have a bond with that animal, no matter what stage they’re in in their life,” he said. “That animal’s always there for them, so it helps them ground themselves and makes them realize that they’re needed.”