It is wonderful to see military families getting support from local animal shelters and national organizations for help with pet care.
Many military pet parents struggle with what to do with their forever friend when serving our nation away from home. It can be tough to stay focused on the mission at hand if family affairs aren’t in order.
Enter our partners in the nonprofit sector. For the past several years, many organizations have stepped up to the plate, providing foster pet services to our deploying troops.
“Military members have a hundred things to worry about when deployment or training comes up. The last thing they should have to worry about is the care of their pets while they’re away,” said Alisa Johnson, a Marine Corps officer and president of Dogs on Deployment, a nonprofit organization matching service members needing a foster pet family with volunteers who have agreed to take in their animals.
Alisa and her husband, Shawn, a Navy officer, observed the challenges military families face when it comes to pet care, which led to the creation of this service.
“We’re especially concerned with those military members that may live on one coast, while all their family lives on another, limiting those that they can rely on in their times of need,” Alisa said.
Since they launched the organization in June, more than 140 families have volunteered to be “boarders” and 20 dogs have been placed in temporary foster care.
Along with national organizations helping troops — including Dogs on Deployment and Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet — many local animal shelters are answering the call of duty and creating programs in their communities to help deployed service members with pet care.
The Hawaiian Humane Society’s Pets of Patriots program provides pet care assistance to military personnel deploying on short notice due to war.