When a devastating fire destroyed Peterson's Exotic Pets in Rome, the apartment above the store and all it's contents were also destroyed, leaving a veteran homeless and with nothing but the clothes he was wearing and his service dog.

John Boss is a veteran, and a senior citizen who made his home in the apartment that once stood above Peterson's Exotic Pets. When the fire tore through the building, rendering it a total loss, John was lucky to escape with his life and his beloved service dog, Laddie.

According to a Go Fund Me set up to raise money for John,

"Old Man John and his dog Laddie are neighborhood icons. Every day they are seen walking up and down James Street, and if you are fortunate enough to speak with them, you will find that John and Laddie are absolute delights.


John is a Marine veteran who served in Vietnam and Laddie is his service dog. They lost their home, located above Peterson's Pets, on 02/28/19 to an unfortunate fire and they need our help more than ever."

You can make a donation to the Go Fund Me HERE.

The Bread of Life Community Center, where Mr. Boss is a patron, is also taking up a collection of monetary and other donations to help Mr. Boss rebuild after this devastating loss.

Monetary donations will be used to purchase clothing and other items needed.

Checks can be made payable to: Bread of Life Community Center, with Mr. Boss in the memo line. You can deliver or mail checks to the center at 401 N. Washington St. Rome NY, 13440.

If you have household items you'd like to donate, they can accept them at the center, but you'll need to call 315-337-0470 first. Theresa LaPointe and Joe Fargo are coordinating the efforts.

There will also be a donation jar set up at Saturday's Craft Fair at the First United Methodist Church, 400 North George Street, from 9am - 4pm.

UPDATE: There is also a Go Fund Me set up for the Peterson family, who lost their business, and tragically, all the animals in it, during the fire. You can donate to that HERE.

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