Animal Welfare Department

Heartbreaking Photo Shows Vietnam Veteran In Hospice See His Dog One Last Time

A veteran and his dog have been breaking hearts across the internet, as images were released of their final touching reunion last week.

Veteran John Vincent had only one final wish while in hospital.

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After the 69-year-old marine who had fought in the Vietnam War was admitted to hospice care, he expressed one final wish to the staff.

The marine veteran was hospitalized in Albuquerque, New Mexico, before being taken to a nearby VA hospice.

His final wish was to see his beloved dog one final time.

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Due to the fact that Vincent had no family, his dog had been placed in the care of Albuquerque's Animal Welfare Department.

However, Albuquerque's Animal Welfare Department sought to fulfill Vincent's wish and reunite Vincent with Patch, his 6-year-old Yorkshire Terrier mix.

Albuquerque Animal Welfare shared the touching reunion online.

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Alongside the series of heartwarming images, the organization wrote of how the veteran's wish had gotten to them.

Apparently, Amy Neal, a palliative care social worker had reached out to the organization that was housing Patch and explained that veteran Vincent didn't have long left and wished to see his furry friend one final time.

The organization were quick to see Vincent's wish met.

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Chief of field operations at the city's Animal Welfare Department, Adam Ricci, explained that it was imperative to them that they help facilitate the final reunion:

"It was an immediate 'yes' from us. So, we worked with the VA to get things organized," Ricci told CNN.

A team of people brought Patch down so the pair could spend the day together.

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Ricci went on to say, "We left Patch there with Mr. Vincent for the whole day, so they could spend one last day together".

The photos show the pair embracing and spending a wonderful day together, as Patch enthusiastically sits on his owner's lap. It's heartwarming to see the pair so excited to be back together with one another.

The images have since gone viral across social media.

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It's no surprise that these images touched people across the country, with the post receiving nearly 2, 000 likes and just under 1,000 shares.

The organization also wrote what an honor it was to help facilitate this wonderful reunion:

"It was such a heartwarming moment! They were so happy to see each other and to say they're goodbyes. It was an honor to make this veteran's final wish come true."

Lots of people shared their thoughts on the moving images.

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Lots of comments expressed their thanks to the organization for going out of their way to make this happen, with others wondering why the hospice can't let people's dogs stay longer:

"They should let the dog stay with him until he passes or is unconscious. It's very sad that the owner will still be in his final days without his beloved pet."

"What a wonderful thing to do for that man and his dog. It brought tears to my eyes. May this man rest in peace when it's his time and may his dog find a home to give it the same kind of love."

"I am so glad his final wish was granted. Bless you, sir, and thank you for your service."

There were lots of people saying they would be happy to adopt Patch.

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Due to the fact of Patch having to be taken back to the department, plenty of people expressed an interest in offering Patch a loving home.

However, Albuquerque Animal Welfare added a comment to their post, which happily said that Patch has already been adopted:

"Thank you all for the amazing support you have shown for Mr. Vincent and Patch. Patch has been adopted and is in a great home."

Hopefully, Patch will be happy in his new home.

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It is a wonderful thing that they managed to do for John Vincent. Our pets are an integral part of our family, and so for the pair to be able to say goodbye properly is a wonderful thing.

h/t: CNN