'Dogs On Deployment' Gives Military Pets A Loving Home
When men and women in the military are away on deployment, they often leave behind friends and family who wait patiently for their safe return.
But what if those friends are four legged and furry? That’s where Dogs On Deployment comes in to help. Allison Mercer is the Director of Marketing for Dogs on Deployment in the Pensacola region. She Spoke to WUWF's Bob Barrett about what the group does for military personnel and their pets.
- Dogs On Deployment is a national non-profit that was founded in 2011 by Alisa and Shawn Johnson, a dual military couple. Shawn was about to be deployed overseas and Alisa was being sent to a base for training and they had no one to take care of their dog J.D. They were able to send J.D. to a family member, but they wondered what other military families did in that situation. That's when they took action and formed Dogs On Deployment.
- Dogs On Deployment was founded in California where Alisa and Shawn live, but they have locations throughout the US, including the Pensacola region. Their goal is to have foster homes within 50 miles of every military base in the country.
- Don't let the name fool you. Dogs On Deployment will also find homes for cats and fish and parrots "and all other kinds of critters that are part of your family".
- The Pensacola chapter is an "up and coming" chapter that is fairly new. They are trying to make sure the service men and women at the Naval Air Base and Air Force Base and all the training facilities nearby know about their services.
- Military members who need the service go to Dogs On Deployment dot org and register there. They need to provide a photo of the pet and where they are located. They also need to let people know how long they will be gone. The application will then be reviewed and, if qualified, the word will be sent out and a foster home for the pet will be found, usually very quickly.
- People interested in taking in pets also register on the web site. You can also register to be a Dogs On Deployment volunteer who helps out with fund raising activities and events. So far over 700 pets have been fostered nationwide.
- Dogs On Deployment also offers a "Pet Chit" program for active duty military personnel or veterans can access if they are having financial problems. The program helps with pets medical expenses, spaying or neutering, micro-chipping and other services.