When orders are cut and service members face time away from their family and friends, what happens to their pets? One dual-military couple, Alisa and Shawn Johnson, faced this common struggle when looking for temporary care for their Australian Shepard, JD. Their experience eventually led to the creation of Dogs on Deployment, a national nonprofit that connects volunteer boarders with service members and their pets to make sure no military pet is ever re-homed or surrendered to a shelter because of their owner’s commitment to our nation’s military.
Today, Dogs on Deployment and their network of volunteers has helped find temporary homes for over 1,110 military pets and recently reached $370,000 in Pet Chit grants, a program to help service members pay for everything from spay & neuter to PCS costs and emergency medical procedures. Recipients of the Pet Chit grants include;
• Bailey, a Siberian Husky who helps her owner cope with PTSD but needed her ACL repaired.
• Maximus, a Marine’s new puppy diagnosed with Parvo that needed extensive treatments.
• Thor, a US Coast Guard pup who needed surgery to repair a tear in his knee.
• Banjo, a recently rescued shelter pup who needed medical care after being attacked by another dog
• …and so many more!
In addition to Pet Chits, Dogs on Deployment board members, fans and military community leaders come together each year to vote for a mascot to represent military pets across the world and to champion a cause close to their hearts. This year, Dogs on Deployment is proud to have Tanzie as the 2017 Military Pet of the Year and Mascot.
Tanzie’s mom, Katie Gar Ward, a Technical Sergeant for the United States Air Force saved Tanzie from the war-torn streets of Bosnia after daily meetups for belly rubs and treats. Katie’s experience with Tanzie, and the other strays she saw fighting for their lives each day, led to the Tanzie Project, a nonprofit dedicated to finding homes for the mistreated strays of Bosnia. Now, as an official US citizen and military pet, Tanzie is helping Dogs on Deployment reach more military service members and spread the word about Dogs on Deployment.
For more information on the services Dogs on Deployment provides or on ways you can help make sure no military pet is ever left behind, please visit us at www.dogsondeployment.org.