How to Help Pets of Military Service Members on Deployment

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When a military service member is deployed, that often means finding a long-term boarding situation for their pet—or face the possibility of surrendering their animal. If you want to help these service members and provide them some comfort while away from home, you can use Dog on Deployment to volunteer as a temporary foster parent for their pets.

As part of the organization’s foster network, they help connect service members with temporary caretakers. (They also help veterans and spouses of members who are dealing with illness or are pregnant and unable to care for a pet.) According to its website, the organization has helped coordinate fosters for almost 1,800 military service members’ pets.

“We fostered a beautiful dog for a wonderful soldier while he was on deployment,” one user wrote on Facebook regarding her experience as a foster parent. “… We sent regular pictures and updates to her dad so he would know she was well cared for.”

To find available pets in need of a foster parent near you, plug in your zip code and listings should appear; as the organization’s website mentions, if you live near a military base, you’re likely to see a greater number of listings available (places like San Diego, for example. In New York City, not so much). Otherwise, expand your radius while browsing so you can see all available pets in your state.

Once you’ve found a pet in need, you’ll have to register and create an account as a “DoD Boarder.” From there, you can reach out to the military service member to discuss foster details. If you don’t see any pets in need in your area, you can create an account anyway so that service members can reach out in the future.

Dogs on Deployment also accepts donations for their efforts. These donations will go toward providing pet-related financial assistance for military service members who are not currently deployed, too. And if you haven’t fostered an animal before, be sure to check out our guide so you can prepare as best as possible.

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