Veterans Crisis Line: dial 988 then press 1
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Nebraska Department of Veterans' Affairs

Vets Get Pets

Veteran Adoption Fee Program

The Vets Get Pets program will disburse up to $350 to a qualifying rescue to cover a veteran's pet adoption fees. Limit one adoption per veteran.


Program Requirements

1. You must be registered in the Nebraska Veterans' Registry to qualify for the Vets Get Pets program. Register here if you haven't already.

2. Visit an authorized shelter/rescue organization to find a pet.
Animals must be adopted from a shelter or rescue licensed by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture. Click here for a list of shelters and rescues

3. Work with the shelter/rescue organization to submit an adoption preauthorization request to the Nebraska Department of Veterans' Affairs.
The adoption preauthorization request consists of:

  • An application for Vets Get Pets completed and signed by both the veteran and a representative of the shelter/rescue organization.   Download the Vets Get Pets Application
  • A current, itemized estimate from the shelter/rescue organization detailing the cost of the adoption


4. After receiving the authorization for adoption from the Nebraska Department of Veterans' Affairs, you can return to the shelter/rescue organization to finalize the adoption.

5. Work with the shelter/rescue organization to submit an itemized final billing statement to the Nebraska Department of Veterans' Affairs so payment can be processed.


6. (Optional) Send a photo of you and your pet adopted through the Vets Get Pets program to NDVA or share it on social media and use the hashtag #VetsGetPets! View our Vets Get Pets Facebook album

Frequently Asked Questions

I am a veteran

Why am I not eligible for Vets Get Pets?

For the purpose of this program, veteran is defined as one who served on active duty other than for training with the US armed forces and had a discharge characterization of honorable or general (under honorable conditions).

I represent a shelter/rescue organization

We received an award notification, but we haven't received payment yet. What should I do?

Please allow 2-3 business days after the award notification for EFT payments to be transferred. If this time has passed and you have confirmed with your financial institution that the funds have not been deposited, please contact us immediately at (402) 471-2458 for further assistance.

If you are expecting a paper check to be mailed to you, there is a lost check waiting period of 10 business days from the date the check was mailed before the check will be cancelled and payment reissued. Please contact at (402) 471-2458 if this waiting period has passed and you still haven’t received the check.

What should the itemized invoice look like?

The invoice/billing statement should show a breakdown of the cost of adopting the pet. An example adoption estimate can be seen and downloaded below. Please note that the invoice from the shelter or rescue you represent may look different. We only require that the items which factor into the cost of the adoption are listed out somewhere on the invoice.

 Download the Itemized Invoice Example

Have a question that's not answered here? Please contact us and we'll answer you as soon as possible. 


Vets Get Pets dog logoWhy Should Vets Get Pets?

A study done at two Department of Veterans Affairs outpatient clinics examining the benefits of canine companionship for veterans with PTSD found that overall the veterans who participated in the study helped them feel calmer, less lonely and depressed, and less worried about the safety of themselves and their families.[1] In addition, the CDC notes that studies have shown that owning a pet can lead to potential physical and mental health benefits such as increased opportunities for exercise and outdoor activities, and increased opportunities for socialization.[2] 

[1] Johnson, A. L., Pride, D., Donahue, D. A., Stern, S. L., Hatch, J. P., Allison, S., Peterson, A. L., Benson, T. A., Moreno, C., Jeffreys, M. D., & Lancaster, C. L. (2013). Potential benefits of canine companionship for military veterans with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Society and Animals, 21(6), 568-581.
[2] About Pets & People | Healthy Pets, Healthy People | CDC. (2019, April 15). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.