A nationwide program designed to match animals in need of a home with veterans or active duty military is off to a successful start in Flagler County.

We first spotted Mindy Crown taking a few minutes to walk the newest member of her family.

“Sugar” was adopted by Mindy and Paul Crown, thanks to the Pets for Patriots program.

Paul, a U.S. Army veteran who suffers from Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), is the first person to take advantage of the program since the Flagler Humane Society signed on.

It places an older animal, or one with a few special needs with a qualified “patriot” like Crown.

Jeffery Ritter with the Flagler Humane Society said it's a win-win situation.

“It helps us place a little bit harder-to-adopt animals," Ritter said. "Plus, there's some really great benefits for the veteran who's the adopter.”

Paul already has a couple of pets in his house and “Sugar” fit right in with everyone else, like she had been there for years.

“There's something, when you touch them and hold them and you feel good," Crown said. "They're better than, they're nicer than most people are.”

Crown said the process could not have been easier.

In fact, Ritter said all you have to do is log on to PetsForPatriots.org to get the ball rolling.

“You have to provide your proof of service. They send you a letter back within two days. Come here and pick out your animal and you're all set,” Ritter said.

Crown had his first sights set on a dachshund, but his wife convinced him “Sugar” was the right dog for them.

They'd like to have her trained to become a service dog for Paul.

“Certain things bother me and I might be happy and then sad," Crown said. "But the dogs, the dog brings a lot of joy to me.”

And by the looks of it, the feeling is mutual.