OKLAHOMA CITY - Military members face many problems during their career. The last problem they want to worry about is what to do with their beloved pet when it is time for them to deploy.
Many of these men and women have limited to no options for their pets when they have to go overseas, forcing them to give a family pet to shelters when they have nowhere else to go.
Nicholas Shelley and his wife Terissa are both active duty and own two dogs named Mica and Meeka. Soon both of them are leaving Tinker Air Force Base on Temporary Duty Assignments, leaving their dogs with nowhere to go.
"It`s still forcing us to sell the house. We don`t really have a home for the pets right now." Nicholas said.
Nicholas will be gone 7-8 months. Terissa will be gone 2-3 months.
After their assignments are up, the couple, their young son Liam, and their dogs are relocating to Moody Air Force Base in Georgia. Liam will be staying with Terissa's parents in Missouri, but they are still looking for a safe place to leave Mica and Meeka.
"A friend of mine actually referred me to Dogs On Deployment just basically so I can find a temporary home for my pets, hopefully." Nicholas said.
Dogs On Deployment is a national non-profit. It provides a central online database that lets service members search for individuals and families who want to welcome a pet into their home for the length of the owner's deployment.
Within a few weeks of registering, a company out of Pennsylvania who supports Dogs On Deployment contacted Nicholas.
"It just shows how the Dogs On Deployment website can find you resources from anywhere as long as you`re willing to get your animals there." Nicholas said.
Nicholas would prefer to leave Mica and Meeka in Oklahoma until they can move to Georgia, but says he will ship his dogs to Pennsylvania if it means they will be taken care of.
Supporting our troops by boarding their pets is a small price to pay for those who give so much more.
"It`s a sacrifice we have to make but not one I`d like to make all the time." Nicholas said.
Nicholas leaves in 10 days.
Click on this link if you want to sign up as a boarder for Dogs On Deployment, if you are looking for a place to keep your pet while deployed, or just to learn more information.