>>Elena Spradlin, Staff Writer
Dogs on Deployment is a non-profit organization that connects active-duty military members to volunteers willing to foster their pets while their owners are called away for duty or other military commitments.
The organization was created in 2011 after military couple Shawn and Alisa Johnson were forced to find a place for their dog JD to stay when they were both called away on their respective US Navy and Marine Corps duties.
Today, Dogs on Deployment has chapters in California, Texas, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Washington D.C, Maryland, Virginia and New Jersey. Ultimately, Dogs on Deployment’s goal is to have chapters near every major military base in the U.S., so military members requiring boarding services can place their pets within 50 miles of their base.
Corynn Myers is the local event coordinator for the Clarksville and Fort Campbell area as well as the public relations specialist for the Southeast.
“When Shawn and Alisa Johnson, the founders of Dogs on Deployment, had to frantically search for someone to watch their four legged best friend and family member while they both served our country, they dreamed up Dogs on Deployment,” Myers said.
“Now that their dream has become reality, the Johnsons and all the volunteers at Dogs on Deployment hope that one day no pet will ever have to be surrendered because of a demanding military career. With the help of volunteers, local and national media, sponsors, donors, and people like you, we can achieve this goal.”
Students can assist at Dogs on Deployment events or volunteer their homes to pets that need homes in the Clarksville and Fort Campbell area. Those who are interested can visit dogsondeployment.org to sign up.
Another way to support Dogs on Deployment is through social media. “Every like, share, retweet and mention of Dogs on Deployment helps us get one step closer to providing a safe haven for military pets in need while their owners serve our country,” Myers said.
Dogs on Deployment has a general Facebook page as well as a Tennessee Chapter page, in addition to Twitter and Instagram.