Krista McNallyJun 16, 2018, 4:15 pmJun 16, 2018, 4:17 pm

Paws of War provides animal therapy to veterans in Amityville

Residents get to hold dogs for the first time, have their spirits lifted

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AMITYVILLE – Veterans and seniors who live at the Dominican Village in Amityville received pet therapy from the Paws of War Foundation on Saturday. The main purpose of the event was to remind the veteran residents that the courage and valor of those who have served has not been forgotten.

Dominican Village is home to veterans, retired law enforcement, and some Purple Heart recipients.

"Our focus is a little different today we want to focus on the unsung heroes veterans, law enforcement, all who are living here," Co-founder of Paws of War Robert Missery said.

The residents said they were thrilled to welcome in the dogs, and for Joan Hagens it was the first time she has ever held a dog.

"Considering I never held a dog before this is pretty cool, and he's so sweet," Hagens said. "This is new for me so it is brightening my day it is very beneficial to be here."

Director of Activities Ann Mangiaracina said it’s important to have activities throughout the year.

"It’s nice to have things like this throughout the year, not just on Veterans Day or Memorial Day," Mangiaracina said. "Dominican Village is hosting this event because of how strong we believe in pet therapy and how much respect we have for our veterans."

Co-founder of Paws of War Robert Missery said residents their spirits lifted, and benefited from the calm and soothing nature of holding an animal.

"You hear from so many people, so and so never smiles, you put a dog in his lap and he's smiling ear to ear," Missery said.

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