MVP Mutts and More!
A partnership with the Maine Veterans Project to find homes for harder to place animals with those who have served our country.
“He gave me the sense of purpose I was missing.” -Shawn “Doc” Goodwin, President and Founder of Maine Veterans Project on his beloved dog, Brick.
Doc Goodwin is a Navy combat veteran with 7.5 years of service as a Corpsman. In 2015, in an effort to reduce suicide rates among vets, Doc founded the Maine Veterans Project, whose mission is to help Maine veterans through direct support programs, recreation, and activities aimed at helping to reignite camaraderie. In short, the goal of MVP is to help veterans find purpose.
In 2018, Doc adopted then 3-year old terrier mix, Brick. Brick’s story was heartbreaking-though he was loved and well-cared for, his owner had taken his own life and Brick was the one to find him. Doc shares that “Brick was suffering from depression and had some healing to do.” As a combat veteran, Doc understood those feelings all too well and felt a kinship with the dog. Adopting him was an easy choice.
Once home, Doc and Brick began to settle in, with Doc admitting to two crucial mistakes. The first was immediately bringing Brick to a chaotic skydiving drop zone with no time to establish a bond of trust. He was nervous and overstimulated by the end of the day. Shortly thereafter, Doc sat far too close to Brick on the sofa after giving him a marrow bone, what we in animal welfare refer to as a “high value treat”. After all Brick had been through, he was understandably possessive and growled at Doc to let him know he was too close.
Fortunately, rather than just giving up and assuming Brick was aggressive, Doc chose to believe that Brick was communicating in the only way he knew how and sought professional help from local trainers who were able to explain some of Brick’s behavior. Together, Doc & Brick began a journey to confidence, mutual respect, and trust.
Over the last several years, we have seen an increase in the number of long-stay dogs. Dogs like Brick– wonderful, loyal, smart, funny dogs who have a few quirks and need owners who will work hard to understand and protect them, even if it means making a few adjustments to their lives. As Doc so wisely pointed out, the very training that military veterans receive early on means that not giving up is almost hard-wired. These animals need help, and veterans are perfect for the job. That they are repaid in licks, love, and loyalty ain’t too shabby.
And so, MVP Mutts… and more was born in November 2023 as a way to match these quirky dogs (and cats, too!) to the very people that will never, never, never give up. Who have the exact right balance of affection and discipline. Who will give these furry friends the wonderful lives they’ve been waiting so patiently for.
Animals are ALWAYS 50% off for our active-duty military and veterans. Please take a moment to see if any of these friends might be the purr-fect fit for you.
We will happily accommodate scheduling demands for vets who are interested in this program as most adoptions for MVP Mutts… and more will require multiple visits for familiarity, trust, and bonding- please speak with our adoption counselors to schedule visits or get more information by calling 207-942-8902 or emailing [email protected].