Southwest Indiana

About Our Chapter

This is the official site of the Southwest Indiana Chapter of Pets for Vets. This chapter serves the following counties:

Indiana: Davies, Dubois, Gibson, Knox, Perry, Pike, Posey, Spencer, Vanderburgh, and Warrick.

Illinois: Edwards, Lawrence, Wabash, and White

Kentucky: Davies, Hancock, Henderson, Hopkins, McLean, Ohio, Union, and Webster

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Meet Chapter Director Marti Vanada

Marti Vanada had extensive personal experience with the healing and motivational power of dogs and wanted to use her love for them to help others. When she discovered Pets for Vets, she knew she found the perfect organization to do just that.

Volunteerism and community service have played a significant role in Marti's life. She is passionate about helping others and has volunteered in several different capacities including raising service dog puppies and working everywhere from soup kitchens and elementary schools to American Red Cross emergency areas and FEMA disaster zones.

In 1992, Marti fulfilled her childhood dream of working with service dogs when she began working with a local search and rescue team. Training her mixed-breed dog for wilderness search eventually led to her obtaining a new dedicated search and rescue dog as well as certification in the FEMA Urban Search and Rescue Team in Indianapolis, IN.

Marti and her beloved search and rescue dog Polly (a Border Collie and Golden Retriever cross) were deployed to Ground Zero in New York in 2001 following the 9/11 terrorist attack. The experience was life-changing and made her realize that Polly’s nose was not her only asset. Marti watched as firefighters approached Polly, dropped to their knees, and buried their faces in her coat. Some sobbed, some hugged her, but all received an emotional release from the comfort of a dog.

With this firsthand knowledge, Marti knows pairing shelter dogs with returning Veterans is a win-win situation. She supports animal rights and believes that Pets for Vets Southwest Indiana’s work will help reduce the overcrowding and euthanizing of dogs in area shelters. Marti is anxious to put her love of dogs and desire to help others to work, and excited to grow Pets for Vets Southwest Indiana!



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