Abilene’s Military Personnel Get Help for Their Pets From ‘Dogs on Deployment’ Foster Families
I was watching our local news yesterday and saw this story about our enlisted military personnel and their pets. What happens to Fido when our nations defenders are deployed to the other side of the earth? While in the past many of our nations service men and women would either send their pets to their parents or other family members, if that is an option. In most cases the enlisted personnel would surrender their pets to local animal shelters. Until now, Dogs On Deployment is a national non-profit that provides service members with an online database of individuals and/or families who are willing to welcome a Dog On Deployment into their home for the length of their owner’s deployment.
By becoming a temporary foster family to these pets, you are in a sense, serving your country too. This is not just a great idea for our military members, who can now fully concentrate on the mission, but the dog in question is being well cared for until it’s owner completes his or her deployment responsibilities. As I read on their online website, Dogs On Deployment is a 501(c)(3) national non-profit which provides a central online database to service members of Dog On Deployment volunteers who will welcome into their home for the length of the dog owner’s deployment. More foster families are needed throughout the United States and there is an approval process one must pass before being approved for fostering.
Dogs on Deployment was founded by a husband and wife, who serve in the US Navy and US Marine Corps respectively. Shawn and Alisa Johnson, started Dogs on Deployment back in June of 2011 when their situations arose. Alisa had orders to move to Quantico, Virginia where she was to attend six months of military training. At the same time, Shawn, was to be deployed over seas. Neither of them could take care of their dog, JD. They were lucky to have family to rely on, but recognized the need for a program which would help others who found themselves in a similar situation. Thus, Dogs on Deployment was born.
“It decreases the morale of military members,” said Sieber-Johnson. “When military members deploy, they need to be focused on the mission and part of them getting focused is to ensure that all their family matters are in order before they leave,” she said.
If you would like to volunteer as a foster family and start the approval process or maybe, you’re being deployed from right here at Dyess Air Force Base. Simply go to the “Dogs on Deployment” website for more details on how to get help, and have Fido waiting for you when you get home.
Founders Alisa and Shawn Johnson proudly own two miniature Australian Shepherds now, Jersey and JD who was the inspiration behind their work. They are also active fosters for Dogs on Deployment and local rescue groups in their area.
Alisa Johnson Founder of Dogs on Deployment up for ‘Military Spouse of the Year’ award.