ABILENE, Texas – In some cases, when a military member deploys, pets have to go to shelters – with no promise of being there when the service member returns. This is where Dogs on Deployment comes in. Capt. Golden Broughton, a B-1 navigator at Dyess Air Force Base, knows she can deploy at any time. She’ll have to leave her dog, Cali, behind.
But 1st Lt. Alisa Sieber-Johnson and her husband, Shawn, weren’t willing to see pets like Cali be surrendered. Together, they started Dogs on Deployment – an online database for military members to find people willing to foster their pets while they’re serving their country. They started the non-profit mostly because they know pre-deployment plans are stressful.
“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.
Broughton agrees. “It’s always in the back of your head,” Broughton said. “You don’t always have time to deal with it, so it’s absolutely a stressor.”
By opening your home to these pets, you’re ultimately helping our country. Sieber-Johnson also said although the organization is called Dogs on Deployment, all types of animals are accepted. Even though Abilene is home to a large Air Force base, there is currently only one ‘foster home’ listed on for the area.