• Man's love of woodworking aids vets group, animal shelter

    By: NATHAN COBB, Northwest Florida Daily News

    Updated:
    SANTA ROSA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - An any given day, you might find Dennis Wise crafting wood in his garage.

    Wise then sells his creations - from bat houses to refrigerator magnets - through his nonprofit, Pets and the Vets, with proceeds split between Paws for Purple Hearts and a DeFuniak Springs animal shelter.

    "I take care of who I can, when we can," he said, and added 100 percent of profits are donated. "The more sales we get, the more people we can help."

    Wise sees bringing together veterans with shelter animals as a win-win proposition. He said there is strong evidence that shows owning a pet reduces post-traumatic stress disorder.

    The shelter animals benefit too.

    "If the dog (or cat) goes home with the vet, he's now in a home (and) everybody loves him," he said.

    His wooden creations include bat houses, bee traps, bookends, superhero and military plaques, and flip-flop magnets.

    Prices for Wise's wooden artwork range from $1.75 to $12. He also accepts requests and will personalize items.

    Wise is retired from the Illinois Wing Civil Air Patrol and also worked as a public information officer for the Walton County Sheriff's Office.

    He said his patriotism runs deep, along with his love for animals.

    His wife came up with the idea to raise money for the two organizations more than a decade ago.

    "For years, I understood what the military does for us," Wise said. "They keep this country completely safe at their own risk. ... I was so impressed and proud to wear that uniform because of all the other people that have worn in before me."

    To purchase items or for more information on Pets and the Vets, call Wise at (850) 267-2078.

    ___

    Information from: Northwest Florida Daily News (Fort Walton Beach, Fla.), http://www.nwfdailynews.com

    Next Up: