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Charlotte County veterinarian steps up to help Navy veteran’s service dog

Port Charlotte Navy veteran Thomas Andrews says his dog, Chief, helps him get through the day.

“I’m one hundred percent on disability. I’ve got PTSD through the military so he’s actually a comfort dog to me,” he said.

So when his usually playful pup stopped moving around over the weekend, fear set in.

“He wasn’t walking, wasn’t doing nothing,” Andrews said. “I got rather nervous. As a veteran, I get paid [disability] once a month…I didn’t have any money at that time. I started calling around a bunch of vets to see if they would let me make payments on a vet bill and just about all of them I called said, ‘No, absolutely no.'”

That was until he called Burnt Store Animal Hospital.

“Dr. Justin Kerr didn’t even hesitate. He said, ‘Come on in,'” Andrews said.

That’s because Kerr is passionate about helping his heroes and their pets.

Veterinarian Dr. Justin Kerr, owner of Burnt Store Animal Hospital, with Chief. (WINK News)

“My grandfather was in World War II on the D-Day beaches. They do so much to enable our best lives that we can just do anything we possibly can to give back at any point in time,” he said. “If I can help out a person and their pet, specifically one that’s put the ultimate sacrifice out there for us, then I’m happy to do so.”

Now, Andrews is happy to watch Chief recovering from his knee injury, thanks to a compassionate clinic.

“I’m just thankful,” he said.

Burnt Store Animal Hospital also offers standing discounts for all veterans and active duty, along with first responders in our area. Kerr says they want to thank those who enable us to live our best lives through their service.

Reporter:Melinda Lee
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