Asking the neighbors to feed your dog while you’re on vacation for the weekend is one thing – it is quite another thing trying to find someone who can watch your dogs while you are deployed overseas for six months.
Luckily, there is an organization that does just that.
Capt. Alisa Sieber-Johnson and Lt. Shawn Johnson first adopted their beloved pup JD shortly after they got married. Then, at the same time that Sieber-Johnson was deployed to Quantico, Virginia for six months of marine training, Johnson was told that he would be shipping out with the Navy.
Though the San Diego-based couple found a foster family to look after JD, they considered how often military pet owners must be forced to search for places to house their pets while on active duty.
This is why Alisa and Shawn launched Dogs on Deployment: a nonprofit that pairs civilian foster homes with the pets of military members while they are away on duty.
Since the service was first started six years ago, over 1,100 dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, and critters have found temporary homes with volunteer boarders during their parents’ service.
Additionally, the organization has given away almost $400,000 in grants to military families for such pet-related expenses as emergency veterinary treatment or spay and neuter services.
“DoD brings together two of America’s loves: our support for our troops and love for our pets,” Sieber-Johnson told TODAY. “It’s spread 100 percent through word-of-mouth. There’s no other organization doing what we’re doing.”
If you want to volunteer as a boarder, donate to the organization, or find a temporary home for your pet while you are on active duty, you can check out the Dogs on Deployment website for more information.