|Leonides Miltary Pet of The Year|
What do you do if you're in the Military, have a pet and are suddenly called up to active duty? Military members nationwide confront a multitude of problems during their careers, and the last thing they need to worry about is their pet's care during their service commitments. In this instance, you can turn to Dogs on Deployment. Dogs On Deployment (http://dogsondeployment.org) is a 501(c)(3) national nonprofit that provides an online network for service members to search for volunteers who are willing to board their pets during their owner's service commitments. Dogs on Deployment promotes responsible, life-long pet ownership for military pet owners by advocating for military pet owner rights, providing educational resources and granting financial assistance for military pet owners during times of emergency. Founded by military members, for military members, Dogs on Deployment aims to provide peace of mind for service members regarding their pet's care. Each year they choose a Mascot, a Pet of The Year.
This year's Mascot, Leonidas, is a 3-year-old Afghan Kuchi mixed breed, born in the mountains of Afghanistan. As a puppy, Leonidas wandered into a United States Army compound and won the heart of U.S. Army soldier, Tim Johannsen.
“The bond created with a dog during war is indescribable,” Johannsen said. “He is my best friend and honestly the way he has changed my life is impossible to put into words.”
Leonidas, like many pets today, has health insurance. Pets Best Insurance Services, LLC, (www.petsbest.com) a leading U.S. pet health insurance agency, which is a sponsor of Dogs on Deployment, a nationwide nonprofit that connects military service members with volunteers to board their pets for free when they are deployed.
A leading sponsor of Dogs on Deployment for two years, Pets Best hopes to bring awareness to the nonprofit’s efforts. In its third year, the nationwide Military Pet of the Year and Dogs on Deployment Mascot Competition resulted in hundreds of contestants, votes and admirable dogs receiving recognition.
Pets Best supports the mission of Dogs on Deployment: to give military members peace of mind concerning their pets during deployment or other service commitments.
The Military Pet of the Year and Dogs on Deployment Mascot receives a free one-year Pets Best pet insurance policy, among many other prizes and benefits. Past winners have received national attention to bring awareness to causes in the military and pet communities. Johannsen and Leonidas plan to use the canine’s new title to raise awareness about rescuing dogs, or “battle buddies,” from overseas, seeking to educate military service members about responsible pet ownership while supporting the Dogs on Deployment mission as a whole.
The Puppy Rescue Mission (http://www.puppyrescuemission.com) is the group that assisted in bringing Leonidas and his sister Mittens to the U.S. to be reunited with Johannsen. Stray dogs and working contract dogs are commonly found in U.S. military compounds overseas and can help service members feel a little more at home.
“If something were to happen to Leonidas in the next year, it is a feeling of relief to know that we will have financial help,” Johannsen said of Leonidas being protected by Pets Best.
Pets Best also protected Midas, the 2014 Military Pet of the Year and Dogs on Deployment Mascot.
“Pets Best recognizes the importance of keeping service members’ beloved pets safe while their owners are away protecting our nation,” said Chris L. Middleton, president of Pets Best. “We remain committed to supporting Dogs on Deployment in its efforts to care for the pets of the brave men and women who serve in the armed forces.”
This is not just an admirable mission but for those of us who love our pets, a completely necessary one. I salute Dogs on Deployment, Pets Best, and The Puppy Rescue Mission for this wonderful endeavor.
NOTE: I received no monetary compensation for this post. It is here to provide information.