Husband and wife, Shawn and Alisa Joshnson found themselves in a very simliar situation. A dual-military family, who serve in the US Navy and Us Marine Corps, were both ordered to relocate at the same time. Alisa was to attend six months of military training in Virginia while Shawn was to be deployed, meaning neither would be able to care for their Miniature Australian Shepherd JD. Luckily, they had family to rely on, but recognized that not everyone else does.
Shawn and Alisa Johnson with their two mini Australian Shepherds, JD and Jersey, and their two Caique parrots, KIki and Zozo.
In June 2011, Shawn and Alisa founded Dogs on Deployment, an organization that believes no pet, whether it’s a dog, cat, bird, etc., should ever have to be surrendered due to a military commitment. Dogs on Deployment therefore provides an online network of volunteers willing to board the pets of military members during their service. Once a military member registers on the site, they can list their pet and fill out a profile which includes all the information on their pet, location, and the boarding dates. Likewise, anyone who wants to volunteer as a Dogs on Deployment Boarder can register and create a profile. From there, owners and boarders are able to contact each other and work out the details.
Dogs on Deployment official logo
Truly, Dogs on Deployment is a wonderful organization that has made the lives of many military members a tad less stressful. Now the organization’s biggest challenge is to get the word out there. If you or someone you know is in need of a service like Dogs on Deployment, you can direct them to their site here. Otherwise, if you’re looking for a way to support our troops, consider volunteering as a boarder. It’s bound to be a rewarding experience for everyone involved.
A special thanks to Shawn and Alisa Johnson, both for their military service and for founding Dogs on Deployment.
All images from dogsondeployment.org