Mar 8, 2013 4:26 PM by Chris Welty

Program Helps Service Members Keep Their Pets

Instead of giving up their dogs for good, a foster program is helping service men and women come home to their pets.

Staff Sergeant Bethany Morgan-Taylor is back at Fort Polk after serving a tour overseas. Her dogs have been living in Lafayette with a foster parent through a program called Dogs on Deployment. Now, pet owners have one less thing to worry about when they're called to duty.

For six months, Snickers and Sandy have been separated from their mom. When Staff Sergeant Bethany Taylor left, her dogs became depressed.

"You just take them fro walks and you give them attention and treats, they snap back really quickly," said foster parent Charissa Helluin.

She volunteered to care for and love Snickers and Sandy for six months while Taylor served overseas in Afghanistan.

"Charissa is a life saver, she's my hero, especially because she reacted so quickly to my request," said Taylor.

Now, she is back at Fort Polk, her dogs are in Lafayette. They're Skyping until they can be reunited. When the dogs heard Taylor's voice they barked and wagged their tails.

"I saw snickers first and got a good look at him. Sandy, I don't think she's really too interested, but she did come lick the camera so that was awesome."

While in Afghanistan, Taylor sent a care package with treats and toys. She says Dogs on Deployment gave her peace of mind knowing Snickers and Sandy would be in a loving home while she was gone.

"It's nice to know there's caring, loving people out there who will take care of your pets for you if a situation arises. Dogs on deployment, I can't sing their praises enough," said Taylor.

Staff Sergeant Taylor will be reunited with her dogs in a few weeks.

Dogs on Deployment helps all branches of the military find temporary homes for all types of pets, not just dogs.

If you're a member of the military, you can sign up to find families willing to take care of your pets. Also, to volunteer, you can sign up on Dogs on Deployment's website:

Chris Welty



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