Over the years, I reported on news pertaining to ‘military service dogs’ and ‘comfort dogs.’ There were human interest stories that covered canines trained to take care of the troops when they return from war, and even a case about one dog that became a ‘conscientious objector.’
Today, we’ll switch gears a little bit and take a look at those pups that are affected by war in a different way. These are the dogs who are left behind when a serviceman is deployed to go to war. Love doesn’t stop at the borders for these pets and their owners. And thanks to ‘Dogs on Deployment,’ there is an actual service that attends to this important need.
Assistance for Military Pet Owners
‘Dogs on Deployment’ is a 501(c)(3) national non-profit, which provides an online network for service members to seek volunteers willing to board their pets during their absence, when they choose to serve their nation.
DoD which launched in 2011 finds temporary homes for pets up to a year’s time. In its short tenure, it has attended to over 1100 pets and boasts more than 25,000 volunteers nationwide.
Founders Shawn and Alisa Johnson, who served in the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Marine Corp respectively, saw the need firsthand and eventually set out to find a more practical solution for military members.
It is the founders’ belief that “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.
The DoD also promotes responsible, life-long pet ownership in the military community by:
- Advocating for military pet owner rights on military installations
- Providing educational resources for military members about responsible pet ownership
- Granting financial assistance to military members for help with their pet's care during emergencies
- Promoting healthy pet lifestyles, including spay and neuter, insurance options and vaccinations
- Connecting with community organizations to ensure Dogs on Deployment resources are available to military families
The organization aids pets of all types that belong to active duty, reservists, guard, honorably discharged veterans and their families.
How can you help?
Even if you’re unable to board a pet yourself, you can still make a difference with DoD by donating funds. In turn, your donations are earmarked to help pets and their owners to off-set some of the expenses that go into boarding a pet during long absences. The DoD's Pet Chit Financial Assistance Program provides grants to at-risk military and veteran pet owners to help with emergency pet care. These programs aim to give military members peace of mind concerning their pets during their service commitments. Please donate today to provide comfort for the un-deployed.
Primary Source: Dogs on Deployment