Wagging Tails & Smiles: Dogs on Deployment Dishes Up Pet Chits, Happy Boarders and Successful Reunions

Spring/Summer 2019 Roundup: Pet Chits, Happy Boarders and Successful Reunions on the Menu

Dogs on Deployment understands that pets do a great deal to enhance and complete our lives in numerous ways.

Dogs on Deployment promotes responsible, life-long pet ownership by military pet owners by advocating for military pet owner rights, providing educational resources and granting financial assistance for military pet owners during times of emergency. Our Pet Chit Financial Assistance Program helps with financial burdens.

Dogs on Deployment also provides an online network for service members to search for volunteers who are willing to board their pets (not just dogs!) during their owner’s service commitments. This military-pet foster network reunites as many military families with their pets as possible.

United States military service members around the globe confront a multitude of problems and challenges during their careers. When Dogs on Deployment succeeds in its mission, we help alleviate the worry these individuals face over  their pet’s care during service commitments.

Pet Chits for Emergency Veterinary Treatment

Beautiful Beaux & the Groenweg Family

Tymon Groeneweg, E-5, United States Marine Corps sergeant  and wife, Rachael, are the beloved owners of Beaux, whose date of birth is actually the same as the couple’s wedding anniversary.  During Tymon’s recent deployment to Alaska, Rachael caught Beaux eating the brim of his dad’s military uniform hat.  

Beaux was immediately examined by the Mohnacky Escondido team and received ultrasound images at the Veterinary Imaging Clinic of San Diego, but he became very sick and needed expensive surgery — around $7,000. It was either that, choose euthanasia, or leave their dog untreated, knowing he would not survive. Tymon and Rachael were heartsick, telling us “Beaux was far too sweet, funny and loving of a dog to deserve that fate.”

Military couple with beloved dog

“Naturally, we wanted the best for our big baby boy, Beaux!”

Tymon and Rachael could not afford Beau’s surgery,  but fate intervened.  The doctor treating Beaux significantly discounted the surgery fees, and the organization known as Helping Paws graciously donated $566 towards Beaux’s care.

Dogs on Deployment pitched in, granting the Groenweg family a pet chit for $1,491.13 to help pay off the remaining veterinary bills, including Beaux’s overnight hospital stay. The smiles on their faces pictured above tell how happy and relieved they all are to be together and healthy again.

Sweet Storm & the Vega Family

Jolie Vega, an honorably discharged veteran of the United States Army, reached out to Dogs on Deployment on behalf of her family. Jolie’s husband is currently an active duty, deployed service member. The couple recently had a string of bad luck with both of their beloved family dogs.

Said Jolie, “One of our dogs, Franky, ate some articles of clothing and got very sick. We had to do x-rays to make sure nothing was stuck, got medicine for the inflammation caused, and were also informed by the vet that our dog has thyroid issues that requires a life-long prescription. Meanwhile, Franky had an allergic reaction the first time around because the dose was too high, which warranted a visit to the emergency vet, followed by more medication. Franky’s vet bills totaled over well over $1,000 by the time that situation was resolved.

In the meantime, our dog Storm had been slipping around on the floor. One day, I noticed that in addition to slipping, she was limping on one of her rear legs. I took Storm to the vet and after x-rays, the vet told us that they suspected her rear ACL in both legs were torn (which is not uncommon for her breed despite her young age). We were referred to an orthopedic vet specialist in Omaha (45 miles or so away) and that was confirmed. Between the vet visit today, the prescriptions for pain and inflammation as well as x-rays, we have spent around $1,000 on Storm thus far.  We received a quote for the necessary ACL surgery and for just one of her legs it will be between $3,186-$4,064. The doctor prefers the more costly surgery as it involves using a camera, a smaller scar, and more accurate procedure. Storm’s other leg will also eventually need surgery, but we will have to wait.”

In just a matter of a couple of months, our family will have incurred over $6,000 in medical costs associated with our dogs and their respective problems. This financial burden along with the simple burden of having to care for two young children, running a nonprofit organization, and attending graduate school while my husband is deployed is nothing short of overwhelming, stressful, and disheartening, so we humbly request some support!”

Dogs on Deployment granted the Vega family a pet chit for $4,000 to help offset remaining veterinary bills. A very grateful Vega family thanked DoD, saying “this assistance means so much. Thank you Dogs on Deployment for your support — we’re very appreciative and thank you!!”

Pet Chits for Spays / Neuters & Wellness Exams

Kiki  Galvez

Alexandria Galvez, E-4, United States Coast Guard, needed financial assistance to responsibly have her cats spayed and neutered.

Dogs on Deployment granted Alexandria a pet chit for $60 to help defer vet expenses.  She and fur-baby Kiki thanked DoD, adding, “Thanks for the peace of mind – we appreciate it!”

Arya Ethington

David Ethington, E-4, United States Coast Guard, needed financial assistance to responsibly have his dogs properly examined and spayed.

Dogs on Deployment granted David a pet chit for $180 to help defer vet expenses.  Fur-baby, Arya above thanked DoD, with a “paws-up!”


Kyley Mendez, E-3, United States Coast Guard and his family rescued their dog, Django. He was not neutered by his former owners. Although the couple had a baby on the way, they recognized the importance of getting Django neutered, especially since he was starting to have additional health concerns.

Dogs on Deployment granted the Mendez family a pet chit for $90 to help defer vet expenses. They thanked DoD, adding, “This was extremely helpful to us and out fur baby, Django!”

JAX Macey

Kyle Macey, E-5, United States Marine Corps and his family unexpectedly – but happily – welcomed their rescue dog, Jax into their home. As soon as they realized that the dog was not altered, they took Jax to be neutered.

Dogs on Deployment granted the Macey family a pet chit for $90 to help defer vet expenses. The Macey family thanked DoD, adding, “We were so glad to give him a forever home with us, but we’re all happier now that Jax is fixed!”

Pet Chits for PCS Preparation / Travel Fees

ACE Kozal

Stephen Kozal, E-5, United States Army was excited to receive his new assignment to serve in Lakenheath, UK.  He saved as much money as he possibly could to pay for his two dogs to travel with him.  But as his travel plans unfolded, it became clear that the airlines misquoted Stephen, neglecting to clarify that the second leg of the  trip would have to be handled by a pet courier. He was told total flight arrangements for his dogs would actually exceed $4500.

“I was crushed knowing that I wouldn’t be able to afford this expense,” said Stephen. “I started working with Dog Gone Taxi service out of Seattle and they were able to bring the cost down to $3200. A friend of mine told me to apply for a chit thru Dogs on Deployment to help offset the cost of the PCS move, and so I applied. To ensure both dogs can come with me, I also took out a loan with a huge interest rate but will struggle to pay it back, all while trying to settle in to my new station along with my family pets.”

Dogs on Deployment granted Stephen Kozal a pet chit for $1377.18 to help with travel costs. Stephen thanked DoD profusely,  saying, “Thank you! This will allow me to care for my dogs, get this loan paid down faster and get some of the financial stress off my shoulders.”

LUNA Grabowski

Dustin Grabowski, E-6, United States Army and his family are planning for their next PCS. They will move from RAF Mildenhall in England to Fairchild AFB in Washington this July.

“We have to start over since we are coming back to the USA,” said Dustin.  “My spouse will not have a job, we will have to get a home for our three children,  and a car. Luna is a part of our family and leaving her in England would devastate us. We’ve been saving money for this date, but the money saved is not enough. Any help in alleviating some of the cost of shipping Luna back to the states would be most appreciated!”

After applying for a pet chit, the Grabowski family was granted a pet chit for $886 by Dogs on Deployment to help with PCS expenses. They thanked DoD, adding, “We have three children and a dog we love very much — thank you for helping to keep our family together.”

Not Possible Without Support

Our successes are not possible without the support of our donors, like the many military spouse clubs across that nation that support our mission. Special thanks to Community Spouses’ Club of Fort Benning – CSC , Davis Monthan Officers’ Spouses’ Club and Hurlburt Spouses’ Club to name a few!
Make a donation at www.bit.ly/dod-donate


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