Throughout the country, there are countless groups dedicated to improving the lives of animals in any way possible. Most of these groups fly under the radar in terms of recognition and appreciation. But the truth is that without the tireless efforts of so many amazing people, the state of animal homelessness would be in much worse shape. Periodically, I want to shine the spotlight on some of these deserving individuals and organizations. This is the second installment in this series.
Great ideas are often born from necessity. Ideas that, in retrospect, seem rather obvious but don’t surface until there is a desperate need.
Such was the case with Dogs on Deployment.
Husband-and-wife-team Shawn and Alisa Johnson served in the US Navy and US Marine Corps, respectively. They had a dog named JD who was a beloved member of their family. When the couple learned that they both would be deployed at the same time, they were frantic about what to do with JD.
After months of anguish and worry, Shawn and Alisa were fortunate to find a family member who offered to care for their miniature Australian Shepherd until their return. As relieved as they were with the outcome, the situation made them realize that other military members must face similar anxiety. So during their 2011 deployments, the couple founded Dogs on Deployment because they believe that no pet should ever be surrendered to a shelter due to a military commitment.
The nonprofit organization provides an online network for service members to find volunteers willing to board their pets while they fulfill their service obligations. One of the long-term goals of Dogs on Deployment is to ensure that a military member can find a boarder within 50 miles of whatever base they are stationed at or deploying from.
In addition to promoting life-long pet ownership in the military community, the organization also provides educational resources about responsible pet ownership, promotes healthy pet lifestyles (including educating owners about the benefits of spay and neuter), and grants financial assistance to military members for help with their pet’s care during emergencies.
Like civilians, military members love their pets and can’t imagine life without them. If you can help love, fund or board our troops’ pets, please visit www.dogsondeployment.org.