YORK, S.C. -- A new program has launched to match veterans in the Carolinas with a new best friend. “Pets and Vets” is a brand new initiative by York County Animal Control that allows any veteran to adopt an animal for free.

“There was just a big missing piece in our heart,” veteran Melissa Reeves said.

Melissa and her husband Daniel both served in the Army, each deployed for a year in Iraq.

“I think as veterans there’s a lot of things we’ve experienced that most civilians go through,” Melissa said.

That’s why they adopted Benny and Cierra, free of charge thanks to the Pets for Vets program.

“I know a lot of other veterans have PTSD and there’s so many benefits of having an animal or a pet,” Melissa explained.

Their two daughters, 7-year-old Rylee and 10-year-old Alana, are in complete agreement with their parents.

“Sometimes they’re sad because of something that happened in the military,” Alana said, “but then the pets make them happier.”

The Pets and Vets program is for any veteran, not just here in York county.

All fees, including microchipping, vaccinations, and spay and neuter, are all waived.