Veterans and active members of the military can get a free pet from now until Memorial Day as part of the SPCA’s Vets and Pets adoption initiative.

The annual event was in jeopardy this year due to a lack of funding, until a Buffalo woman sponsored it.

The SPCA said offering pets to hundreds of veterans and service members is its way to say thank you.

“For many people dealing with different kinds of PTSD, animals have the healing effect and I don't just mean dogs — I mean all different kinds of animals,” said Gina Lattuca, communications officer for the SPCA Serving Erie County. “Who's to say why a person may respond to a turtle or a cat rather than a dog or a rabbit."

In order to pick out a pet, service men and women need to bring their military ID to the SPCA’s offices on Harlem Road in West Seneca. 

The SPCA recommends providing ample time to pick out and get to know a new pet before bringing it home.