It all started in 2010 when Matt MacFarland and Amanda Han, founders of Animals for Armed Forces, drove by a local animal shelter during Veteran's Day Weekend and came up with an idea. That following spring, Matt and Amanda had their first event on Memorial Day at the Orange County Animal Shelter. In just one day, they had 37 adoptions, and in February 2012, Matt and Amanda officially began their lifelong mission of uniting our service men and women with a loving furry companion.
Over the last seven years, Animals for Armed Forces has helped 1,300 adoptions happen. To Matt and Amanda, one of the biggest rewards is meeting veterans and military families, hearing their stories, and seeing them leave alongside a new pet with a smile on their face.
Currently, the organization is partnering with 29 shelters (one of the highest numbers yet!) throughout Southern California and Utah for their annual Memorial Day Weekend adoption event. In three years, Animals for Armed Forces aims to expand to most of California and in ten years, to be a nationally recognized nonprofit organization. With more awareness and volunteers, Animals for Armed Forces will be able to bring a smile to our Heroes' faces and give shelter animals a second chance at a loving forever home.
ABOUT BRUIN, OUR MASCOT
Above: Matt MacFarland and Bruin the black lab
Now that you know our story, get to know our adorable black lab, Bruin!
This very good boy joined the MacFarland family in 2007. He was adopted from a shelter in Huntington Beach. Bruin was found wondering the streets before finding his forever home with his human companions. It was Matt's first time adopting an animal, but it wasn't Bruin's first rodeo; he was pretty much house broken the first night he was home.
Since then, Bruin joined his human companions for several years at their adoption events and made friends with everyone he met; he was known as Animals for Armed Forces' successful adoption story. In memory of the dog that helped change everything, we have made Bruin the official mascot of the organization. Support Animals for Armed Forces because other shelter animals like Bruin deserve a second chance at happiness and loving home.