A Great Dane Finds Loving Care in Miami

By Carmel Cafiero, 7News

WSVN-TV – 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

Our military men and women are used to sacrificing the comforts of home while deployed, but what if one of those comforts is a beloved pet? One organization is making sure those furry family members are cared for while our heroes are fighting for freedom.

WSVN — Those who serve our country too often make the ultimate sacrifice. Those who come home after battle also sacrifice losing time with loved ones.

Who hasn't been touched by the emotional homecomings? Husbands, wives and children waiting with open arms to welcome their heroes home. And right beside the families are the pets that were also left behind.

Denisse Medina: "That's my baby. I had him since he was 2 months, he's 2 and a half."

Army reservist Denisse Medina loves her Great Dane Bronx, and he goes wherever she goes. But then the Army came calling for a training exercise, she knew she couldn't take her Bronx with her.

Denisse Medina: "My mom couldn't take care of him. It's a big dog, small place. My dad doesn't really like dogs and the boarding was charging, here in Miami, they're like $35 to $55 a night."

That's when some unexpected help arrived.

Grace Skinner: "It was fun, I enjoyed having him, he was an excellent dog. He was so well behaved."

Grace Skinner kept Bronx while Denisse was away at training. She is a volunteer with Dogs on Deployment, a program that helps find temporary homes for pets of military members who are called to duty.

It's one less worry for soldiers who might otherwise have to give up their pets.

Denisse Medina: "It's sad when a soldier has to put away a dog or let go of a dog because they have nobody to take care of it."

It's a nationwide effort that is also taking hold right here in South Florida.

Grace Skinner: "We can support you, and we will support you. There's a whole army of people out here that want to support the military."

Dogs on Deployment was created by military members, for military members, and it couldn't happen without the volunteers who open their homes and hearts to foster pets.

Grace Skinner: "It was nice having somebody around and it was nice feeling that you were supporting someone in the military."

Nearly 500 military pets have been put in volunteer homes thanks to Dogs on Deployment. And thanks to social media, even while military members are deployed, they can see their pets.

Denisse Medina: "It's good to know that, when your boarder is posting pictures on Facebook, you get to see that he's at a good home, he's happy. I think that's the prize."

Volunteers for Dogs on Deployment have one goal: to take away one worry for those who risk their lives to protect ours.

Dual Military Couple Deploys From Tinker Air Force Base

By Bree Steffen
Reposted from KFOR.com

OKLAHOMA CITY – Military members face many problems during their career. The last problem they want to worry about is what to do with their beloved pet when it is time for them to deploy. Many of these men and women have limited to no options for their pets when they have to go overseas, forcing them to give a family pet to shelters when they have nowhere else to go.

Nicholas Shelley and his wife Terissa are both active duty and own two dogs named Mica and Meeka. Soon both of them are leaving Tinker Air Force Base on Temporary Duty Assignments, leaving their dogs with nowhere to go.

“It`s still forcing us to sell the house. We don`t really have a home for the pets right now.” Nicholas said.

Nicholas will be gone 7-8 months. Terissa will be gone 2-3 months.

After their assignments are up, the couple, their young son Liam, and their dogs are relocating to Moody Air Force Base in Georgia. Liam will be staying with Terissa’s parents in Missouri, but they are still looking for a safe place to leave Mica and Meeka.

“A friend of mine actually referred me to Dogs On Deployment just basically so I can find a temporary home for my pets, hopefully.” Nicholas said.

Dogs On Deployment is a national non-profit. It provides a central online database that lets service members search for individuals and families who want to welcome a pet into their home for the length of the owner’s deployment.

Within a few weeks of registering, a company out of Pennsylvania who supports Dogs On Deployment contacted Nicholas.

“It just shows how the Dogs On Deployment website can find you resources from anywhere as long as you`re willing to get your animals there.” Nicholas said.

Nicholas would prefer to leave Mica and Meeka in Oklahoma until they can move to Georgia, but says he will ship his dogs to Pennsylvania if it means they will be taken care of.

Supporting our troops by boarding their pets is a small price to pay for those who give so much more. “It`s a sacrifice we have to make but not one I`d like to make all the time.” Nicholas said. Nicholas leaves in 10 days.

Dogs on Deployment Helping Reduce Pet Abandonment

By Christie Walton
Reposted from Fox 4 News

SAN DIEGO, CA — Many members of the military have to abandon their pets when they are deployed overseas. Several groups in California are trying to help ease that burden.

“I remember it 25 years ago, you could tell when there was a large deployment because cities like Oceanside, and Vista and Carlsbad would suddenly have there were a lot of dogs on the street,” said John Van Zante with the Rancho Coastal Humane Society.

Even though the situation has improved, it’s still a big problem.

“Someone’s deployed so they don’t know what to do,” he said. “Basically they set their dog or cat out on the way out the door.”

Van Zante said some military members will show up the day before deployment and his organization always tries to help.

Alisa Johnson faced a similar situation when she lived on base and her husband was deployed early. That experience led her to start Dogs on Deployment.

“I do think the military should have more pet support,” Johnson said.

The group connects military pet owners with temporary foster parents. The pet owner pays with their own money.

“As a military member we should be leading the moral standards to American society,” she said.