By connecting our nation’s military Veterans with rescued animals, Pets for Vets helps create second chances and new beginnings. With over 300 successful matches and counting, we are changing lives one lick at a time.
Making the perfect, lifelong match begins with our dedicated volunteer trainers who help select and prepare animal companions for their new lives. If you are a professional dog trainer who wants to make a difference for Veterans and pets, we would love to have you on our team!
Turn your dollars into real change with a tax-deductible donation to Pets for Vets. Your contribution directly impacts Veterans and their animal companions by providing everything they need to start their life together on the right paw.
To help heal the emotional wounds of military veterans by using the power of the human-animal bond to provide a second chance for shelter animals by rescuing, training and pairing them with America's servicemen and women who could benefit from having a companion animal.
Washington DC Chapter is a
This chapter serves Veterans in the District of Columbia and neighboring suburbs of Northern Virginia.
Meet Chapter Director Laura Peters
As the daughter of a Navy Officer and Vietnam Veteran, Laura frequently relocated as a child but the DC Metro area has been her home since 1994. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Spanish from the University of Michigan and a Master’s degree in Health Services Administration and Policy from Ohio State University and went into the healthcare field. The major highlight of her 25+ year career in healthcare administration was leading the Emergency Department and Urgent Care Center at the National Naval Medical Center (now the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center).
Working at the National Naval Medical Center during the terrorist attacks on 9/11 and seeing her military comrades’ unwavering courage and extraordinary response forever changed Laura. While she did not serve in the military, Laura feels so much respect and gratitude for our men and women in uniform and supports several military and Veteran-focused organizations such as AmVets; Purple Heart; Team Red, White & Blue; USO-Metro; VVA; and WWF.
Laura has had dogs all her life and firmly believes in the physical and emotional healing that the bond between humans and their animals can provide. She is currently a volunteer and foster with her local animal shelter and supports several animal welfare groups including ASPCA and HSUS.
Laura jumped at the chance to organize and lead Pets for Vets Washington DC Metro Area, and to put her experience, deep respect for our nation’s Veterans and love of animals to good use. Along with her wonderful team of trainers and volunteers who share her passion and commitment, she looks forward to saving the lives of shelter animals and giving back to those who have given so much in service to our country.
Meet the Training Team
At Pets for Vets Washington DC Metro Area, we take pride in the expertise of our professional trainers, Toni Woods and Roni Campbell. Meet them below!
Toni studied Animal Sciences in graduate school and volunteered with a local veterinarian for eight years while teaching high school Biology. During this time, she organized a volunteer community service group with her students at the Washington Animal Rescue League (WARL). It was then that Toni learned that behavior problems are the number one reason dogs are euthanized and decided to take action by becoming an Animal Behavior College certified trainer.
In 2007, Toni founded Anytime K9, a company that provides dog training and pet sitting and walking services in the District of Columbia. She has worked tirelessly to build Anytime K9 to help educate families and their pets to prevent further loss of life.
Toni is the proud parent of two chocolate labs, Riley and Sina, and is featured in the Pets for Vets "Saving Two Lives" video, which describes exactly how our program works.
Roni never set out to be a dog trainer but when she got her dogs eleven years ago, she felt that they needed the education to learn a common language. After working with a professional animal trainer until she "nearly ran out of money", she began working at the training company for extra income and quickly caught the training bug. Soon after, Roni attended several training seminars and a clicker training expo. When she saw the power of the clicker/marker and the science of operant learning, she decided right then and there on her training method: 100% positive reinforcement marker training.
Since then, Roni has become a professional family pet and assistance dog trainer and a certified Canine Good Citizen (CGC) evaluator. For the last five years, she has studied animal behavior and learning methods. Her goal is to help dogs and their people enjoy their lives together by teaching them a new language that will help them communicate effectively with each other, understand a dog’s reactions to events and find the best solutions. She loves working closely with clients to help develop the relationship bond and will soon add bond-based relationship training to her repertoire.
Last year, Roni attended a workshop at Service Dogs, Inc. in Texas and decided that assistance and service dog training was her destiny. She is now the proud owner of Walking with a Friend, LLC, a small business that is making a big difference for assistance/service dogs and their people.
Roni lives in Gainesville, VA with her husband of 38 years and their two 12-year-old Boston Terriers, Frannie and Igor.
"He’s more than just a friend. He’s my battle buddy. He’s my left hand. We’re connected by a leash, but it’s really our umbilical cord. He’s sometimes more tuned into me than I’m tuned into me. He knows more about me than I do sometimes. He lets me know what’s going on."
"You would think that a dog is just a dog. That may be true for some, but not me.
I used to sit at home, alone, and just let life pass me by, but now I have a reason to get up. Even if it’s feeding Samson, or taking him for walks, he has motivated me to live again."