Open Homes, Hearts & Helicopters Unite Dogs on Deployment Boarders With Military Family Pets in Need

Dogs on Deployment Volunteers Go to Great Lengths & Heights to Foster Military Family Pets – Just ask Dave Sarver of Pilots ‘N Paws

Dave Sarver is many things to many people — a compassionate animal rescuer, animal lover, a private pilot, volunteer and through Dogs on Deployment, a foster boarder for military family pets. Dave Sarver has graciously stepped up to help in countless ways, getting to know and care for all of his visiting, furry bosom-buddies as though they were his own.

The Mission Matters

The main mission of Dogs on Deployment is to provide an online resource for military members to search for volunteers willing to board their pets during service deployments. Our secondary mission is to provide resources, education and advocacy for the military pet community, including pet owners and DoD Boarders.

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Nationwide to date, over 1,370 individual pets in need have found temporary care in the homes of Dogs on Deployment boarders during their owner’s military commitments. This vital assistance to military families with pets continues to enable pets to find comfort and refuge while their respective owners focus on their mission and service.

It Takes a Village…  & Sometimes a Pilot, to Make Things Possible

Volunteers come together to help dogs, Xena and Jay


A great deal of planning and preparation goes into matching ideal volunteer boarders with the dogs, cats or other animal(s) they eventually foster. Dogs on Deployment requires each party to take appropriate steps to result in two happy parties and a successful boarding scenario. Click here to see “Boarding Questions” and more info on the FAQ page of the Dogs on Deployment website.

Through the years, several Dogs on Deployment volunteer fosters have truly embraced the program to the point of boarding the same pet(s) multiple times. There have also been many instances of boarders volunteering on more than one occasion to help military family pets, as well as boarding pets during very lengthy service commitments — in some cases, close to a year or longer. These mutually beneficial arrangements enable pets to comfortably settle in with their temporary family for the long term, and their military service owners to enjoy peace of mind.

Dogs Xena & Jay are good to go!


We are very grateful for the extraordinary efforts of Dave Sarver. He has been a long-time and repeat border for Dogs on Deployment, earning him a 4-paws rating from our pack!

What makes Dave Sarver unique and even more special as a Dogs on Deployment volunteer is that he is also a volunteer pilot for “Pilots ‘N Paws”:  Pilot Rescue for PetsDave began volunteering his time and talents with this rescue organization to save the lives of innocent animals.


On the way to their forever homes!

“Pilots ‘N Paws” is a non-profit organization that was founded in 2008 by animal-lover Debi Boies and pilot Jon Wehrenberg. When they became aware of endangered animals in need of assistance, they insisted on turning a problem into a solution. In this case the solution was, and remains air transport.

Their website ( provides a means for communication among private pilots willing to provide free transport, and people and organizations who rescue, shelter or foster animals in dire need. Working together, the volunteers of “Pilots ‘N Paws” each year save the lives of thousands of animals, including dogs, cats, pigs, reptiles, rabbits and others.

Wheels Up With Dave Sarver

Captain Dave Sarver

Captain Dave Sarver


So many people appreciate the work Dave has done up front as a boarder, as well as behind the scenes as a rescuer. He shared with us a photo of fosters, Xena and Jay, along with some other dogs staying with him now. In Dave’s humble words, “this is the kind of stuff that makes it all worthwhile!”




Xena & Jay Arrive at Dave’s House

Dave told us that “Xena and Jay have returned for their second stay here at my home in the mountains, and will likely be here through next August.  Jerry Kane from Pilots ‘N Paws did amazing work by helping to coordinate the dogs’ transport from North Carolina to here in New Mexico, and quite the story it was!” Dave continued, “It came together like a fine watch when you consider all the organization that needed to take place. After the first leg of the trip, there was a slight snag in the weather, but the FBO at Lamesa, Texas kept both dogs overnight until the weather conditions allowed us to fly again.”


“Then in the morning, fellow pilots Ron and Steve and I picked up the dogs and took flight before the storms got us. Both pups were exhausted when we arrived, but after getting to bed early that night and having a good restful sleep next to me on the living room floor, Xena and Jay are both doing really well! Here they are getting to know the rest of the pack.”


On behalf of Dogs on Deployment, the families whose lives he has brightened and all of his furry friends everywhere, “thanks for everything, Captain Dave!”


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