NEBRASKA (KCAU) — A white Great Pyrenees was the 50th dog to be adopted through a program designed to pair dogs in need of a second chance with veterans in need of a companion.

In 2020 the Nebraska Legislature approved the Vets Get Pets program, which is administered by the Nebraska Department of Veterans Affairs. Since then there have been 50 shelter dogs matched with veterans and fees for adoption were paid for by the program.

Now Bear, a dog from the Animal Shelter of Northeast Nebraska, was adopted by Scott Henry. becoming the 50th dog adopted through the program. Back in the 1990s Henry worked in the military police corps. In 2021 Henry had a stroke and while at the hospital he learned about both the JAVELEN Service Dog Training Program and the Give Vets Pets program.

Bear’s adoption is a major second chance for the stray that was found in Texas. Initially Bear was on the euthanasia list but through some partnerships, Bear was brought to Norfolk for a meet and greet with Henry. After he passed the meet and greet, and behavioral analysis by the JAVELEN program, he was selected to be adopted by Henry.

The team in training will begin their training sometime this month. Bear will help with the stability problems Henry has been having since his stroke.

“Bear can help prevent falls or help me get up from falls, but he’s also a great dog,” Henry explained.

The Vets Get Vets program is funded through special license plates that are sold within the state to pay adoption fees for the dogs, up to $350. The first dog adopted through the program was adopted on July 23, 2021. While Bear is going to be a service dog for Henry, he pointed out that sometimes just the presence of an animal can be helpful. There is no requirement that adopted dogs become service dogs for their owners.