A Dallas, Texas, veteran who found solace in man’s best friend is working hard to provide fellow vets the same opportunity. And in turn, he’s giving new hope to dogs who need loving homes, the Star-Telegram reports.
“I get calls from friends and people at the VA telling me their dog just had pups,” Carl Hall told the paper. “I go down, look at them and decide if they have what it takes to be a therapy dog. I guess with all the years I’ve had dogs, I can tell which ones will make it.”
Jazzy, Brownie and Patches are three of the pups who now call the 60-year-old widowed, disabled Army veteran “pops.”
During his military career, Hall reportedly recorded more than 2,800 parachute jumps, many with his scout dog, Rocky. He was critically injured in a free fall in 1984 and eventually recovered and left the military.
Hall told the Star-Telegram that he wasn’t looking for a dog in 2013, shortly after his wife and the family’s dog both passed. However, longtime friend Peggy Brown had other ideas.
“I knew the minute she (Jazzy) came to us she was the right one for him,” Brown, who works with the Humane Society of North Texas in Fort Worth, said.
The yellow Labrador Retriever/Australian Shepherd mix had come to the shelter with a crushed paw.
“We believe that she had it caught in a door, and I knew she would need special care,” Brown told the paper.
Several months later, Hall found Jazzy a friend — an Australian Shepherd/brown Lab mix that had spent several months in animal shelters. A few months ago, Patches, a Pit Bull, joined the family after wandering into his yard injured. Brown told the Star-Telegram she believes Patches had been used as a bait dog to train other canines in dog fights.
In the last three years, Hall has located has located 20 potential therapy dogs for veterans. He’s used his past military training with dogs as a springboard to help veterans across the country unite with dogs.
But as far as he goes, Hall said his family is complete.
“Oh no, there won’t be fourth,” Hall said. “This is my family now.”