Support our troops by boarding their pets

Monday, November 10, 2014

In honor of Veterans Day, I want to tell you about a wonderful organization, Dogs on Deployment, that helps our military members while they are deployed.

Dogs on Deployment is a national 501(c)(3) non-profit providing a central network for military members to find volunteers willing to board their pets while they are deployed or have other service commitments, making them unable to temporarily care for their pets.

"DoD" was founded by husband and wife, Shawn and Alisa Johnson, who serve in the US Navy and US Marine Corps respectively. A few years ago, Alisa was moving for six months of training and Shawn was being deployed. Neither of them would be able to care for their beloved dog, JD. Fortunately, a family member took in JD, but the experience made them realize the need for help for other military families and their pets.

Alisa says "No pet should ever be surrendered to a shelter due to a military commitment. DoD exists to help military members keep their pets by alleviating the need for pet relinquishment from military members due to the hardships of deployments."

Dogs on Deployment has only been around for a few years, but has already successfully placed more than 500 pets with foster families while their military parents serve our country.

Alisa says it's hard work running a non-profit and also fulfilling her military duties, but worth it. "I am proud of what we accomplished. I am proud of my supporters. I am proud of the military members that use our site because they love their pets, and they couldn't imagine life without them."

Foster families are needed for anywhere from a month to sometimes more than a year. Most of the animals are dogs and cats, but sometimes a bird or reptile is also looking for a temporary home.

The search to find a foster family for a military pet often starts on social media, especially Facebook.

You can help by following Dogs on Deployment on social media, like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and sharing posts of animals in need in our area with your friends.

And if you want to see some of the heartwarming reunions of pets and their military parents, check out their YouTube channel (Just make sure you have the tissues handy!)

For more information on Dogs on Deployment, visit their website.

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