“Our military service members sacrifice so much for our country,” said Linda Spurlin-Dominik, Co-Founder/CEO of Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet. “Through our programs, it is our hope that we can help cut down on the anxiety and uncertainty of deployment and, at the same time, say “thank you” for their service and sacrifice.”

“Though the majority of those deploying will have family members or friends to care for their beloved pets, the organization will be there to assist those who don’t,” said Sally White, National President. “We believe safely reuniting the owner and pet when they return from overseas is an important part of reintegration and healing.”

Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet has been supporting our military, veterans and their beloved pets since 2005. The all volunteer 501c3 Military and Veterans Support Organization provides programs to temporarily foster pets during a deployment (combat, peacekeeping or humanitarian mission), unforeseen medical hardship or homelessness. They also support service members and veterans diagnosed with PTSD needing a specially trained canine assistance to enhance their quality of life. Programs are available in all 50 states and across all branches of service including National Guard and Reserves.

The foster organization usually has about a dozen pets being lovingly and safely cared for across the country at any given time. A team of coordinators screen pet owners and potential fosters before matching them up. The pet owner is typically responsible for all pet care-related expenses including food and vet visits. The foster contract is for the length of deployment, which can fluctuate in the event the deployment is extended.

Marge Janiak is the Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet National Marketing & Communications Director. Her blog, Tails from the Front Line, helps tell the story of this wonderful organization. Here is an excerpt from her recent trip here to Hampton Roads:

“Hello, Williamsburg! We made it to Williamsburg and I cannot wait to go to Colonial Williamsburg and do all the tourist-y stuff. But work is calling me and I have several appointments to speak to some of the Navy’s Fleet & Family people. I love telling them all about Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet and how I can help their sailors and because I NEED FOSTER HOMES IN VIRGINIA! The more that I can educate the public about the fact that deployments happen every day somewhere in America, and veterans go into the hospital every day somewhere in America, the more I hope to get more Foster Homes!!

One of the reasons we are taking this trip from our home state of Tennessee is to deliver the delightful Maverick, a Husky that my husband and I have been fostering for the last month or so, back to his home in Hampton, Virginia. Maverick’s owner, Justen W., a Sailor in our Navy, is returning home from his 6 month deployment.

I know it will be bittersweet because we have really grown fond of this Husky! The closer we got to Justen’s house, the more excited Maverick got!! He knew he was going home! When we got to Justen’s house, I texted him and told him we were there. When Justen came out, Maverick ran to him and just danced all around him. He was so happy to see his owner!

That is exactly what makes my job so wonderful. Just seeing the excitement and happiness in both the owner and the pet is awesome! You can actually see the love they have for each other shining in their eyes! I had tears in my eyes, but my heart was so filled with joy!

After they got re-acquainted with each other, we talked for a while. Justen told us he’d probably be heading out again in about 4 months. I told him that if he wanted us to watch Maverick again to just let us know. We should be coming home from our “winter vacay” in Bonita Springs, Florida by that time. I have no doubt that Maverick and Justen will be part of our family from now on!”

For more information on providing a foster home, becoming a volunteer, or making a donation to Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet, or to request help for you and your pet, please visit www.guardianangelsforsoldierspet.org.

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