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A lot of preparation and planning goes into each and every member of our armed forces when the time comes to relocate or deploy. Worrying about what to do with pets is one less thing our troops need to worry about, since the creation of Dogs on Deployment.
Military members nation-wide confront a multitude of problems during their career. The last problem they want to worry about is what to do with their beloved family pet when it’s time for them to deploy. Many service members have limited, to no options for their pets when they have to go overseas and many have relinquished their pets to shelters when they have nowhere else to go. Dogs On Deployment is a licensed non-profit which provides a central online database for service members to search for individuals or families who are willing to welcome a Dog On Deployment into their home for the length of their owner’s deployment.
DoD was started by Shawn and Alisa Johnson, a military family and owner of two Australian Shepherds. The Johnsons have both been stationed or deployed in areas where dogs were not allowed and realized the need for a service that would connect military with people willing to help board and care for their pets while they are away. Luckily, Shawn and Alisa have had family to rely on, but understand that many of our servicemen and women do not and many are forced to relinquish their pets to shelters when deployed.
Their website, DogsonDeployment.org, hosts a database of both military members that are in need of a boarder and families that have offered to care for their pets while they’re serving our country.
DoD is also dedicated to improving rights of dogs of those serving in our military, to have them viewed as a part of the family, to be cared for while our troops are away, rather than treated as disposable by military regulations.
Are you a member of our military that has had to either give up your dog or find boarding while you were deployed? Share your stories with us below!
I will eat a roasted rottweiler very taste hot dog !
This is a wonderful thing to do. However, my husband & I had a terrible experience watching a deployed veterinarian’s two German Shepherds. First, they showed up filthy, and matted with unshed coat, from a VET!
It was to be for three months. She was home at the three month mark. But we kept getting excuse after excuse as to why she couldn’t pick them up (she owned her own house, so that was not the issue). She had agreed to pay for their food, and vet care if needed. Luckily no vet care was needed, but we wound up footing the bill for the food. It was six months total before the poor dogs went home. And we had to tell her that, according to state law, she had abandoned her dogs and we were within our rights to sell or place them.
We had a very brief contract. If you decide to foster a service member’s pets, make sure you draw up a contract that protects all three parties. And is very specific as to terms, who pays for what, when the pets get to go home etc.
Don’t let our experience put you off. Just be certain everyone agrees to the same things! Oh, and insist that the pets be microchipped before they come to you. They’re likely to be upset, and if they get out, they have no idea how to find their way home, which is now your house. The chip should be registered to you while the soldier is deployed. Also keep tags on the pet at all times with your info. That way if a Good Samaritan finds them, they have an easy time finding you. And do not let cats outside. If they have always been outdoor cats, the best place they could be is if the soldier could find someone on base fairly close to where they lived to care for them. They may not acclimate to being indoor cats well.
I can take care of one while someone is gone.
They post the pictures and details of every pet in need of fostering/boarding on their Facebook page as well. It is a great way to to spread the word to as many people across the country as possible by “sharing” their Facebook posts. Alisa has rescued several stays as well, and always keeps them until she finds them their new furrever home.
It would be really awesome if Nzymes.com could team up with DoD to help spread the word and get the pictures of those in need up on as many social media sites as possible. I love Nzymes products. Combining DoD and Nzymes and possible Pets for Patriots would be a dream come true for me!
What a great idea! What I like about the idea of troops boarding their pets with families is the fact that it will allow many more military families to have pets. I’m sure many decide not to because they know they will have to leave them behind at some point.
What a wonderful idea to have families care for dogs whose owners have been deployed. A dog needs the companionship of humans especially pets and this is a really good idea both for the owner and pet dog.