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Feelin’ Fur when Family’s Far Away

We love this feel good Thanksgiving story - you will too!

Fifty United States Marine families stationed at Camp Pendleton will get a “taste” of home this Thanksgiving when the Oceanside Yacht Club and Stone Brewing Company “join paws” with Pet Assisted Therapy (PAT) dogs from your Rancho Coastal Humane Society (RCHS). During the annual “Thanksgiving with the Troops,” Yacht Club members will take Marine families for boat rides. When they return to the harbor they’ll be greeted by Love on a Leash certified therapy dogs and a Thanksgiving turkey dinner prepared by the chef at the Oceanside Yacht Club.

“Rancho Coastal Humane Society is honored to be included in ‘Thanksgiving with the Troops’ for the first time,” says RCHS Community Liaison Nick Winfrey. “Those of us who have served in the military understand what it’s like when we have no family in the area and cannot go home for a holiday. Our hope is that the yacht rides, Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings, and the therapy dogs will make the day memorable.”

The Marines and their families are scheduled to leave the Yacht Club at 1950 N. Harbor Drive in Oceanside at 10:00 AM. As the yachts return between 12:00 and 12:30 they’ll be greeted by the RCHS Pet Assisted Therapy dogs. Members of the Oceanside Yacht Club will have gifts for their guest families. There will be football on television, card games, and hands-on interaction with the therapy dogs until Thanksgiving dinner is served at around 2:00 PM.

RCHS Volunteer Coordinator Mary Pilon was pleased by the number of PAT volunteers who jumped at the opportunity to spend part of their Thanksgiving with the troops. “Almost 25% of our PAT volunteers will be there to share some fur therapy with these Marine families and thank them for their service.”

RCHS does not charge for Pet Assisted Therapy visits to extended care facilities, schools, libraries, hospitals, or shelters for victims of domestic violence. Pilon explains, “You can’t put a price on the unconditional love of an animal.”

For more information about Pet Assisted Therapy visit RCHS at 389 Requeza Street in Encinitas, call 760-753-6413, or log on to

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