Project Active Duty Keeps Military Fur-Families Together
When military family members get called to active duty, families are jostled. Sometimes, the furriest family members receive the most jostling when the question of what to do if a pet cannot accompany a duty station comes into play. One program run through the Arizona Humane Society is helping military family members with their new initiative called Project: Active Duty.
Through this initiative, enlisted military families who get asked to answer their country’s call won’t have to worry about what will happen to their dog while they are deployed. It is a free program that helps these military families find foster families to keep their pets while they are protecting their country. One such family, the Lockes, was able to take advantage of Project: Active Duty when Larry and Janet LeBlanc took their four-year-old pit bull Layla in while Master Sergeant Locke was deployed to South Africa.
Often military members are deployed to countries that will not allow pets, or may have stringent breed restrictions, and sadly, many families end up having to rehome their pet because it’s not easy to find someone to care for a pet for the length of a deployment. Project: Active Duty was designed for just this purpose, and because of the support from the LeBlancs, the Locke family knew that Layla was in good hands while they were gone, and would be able to return to them when they were back on U.S. soil.
This program was initially started in part due to a $50,000 donation from PetSmart Charities, in conjunction with the Arizona Humane Society, and specifically created so families don’t have to be seperated forever. In the LeBlanc’s case, though it was difficult for them to say good-bye to Layla as she had become part of their family in the nearly year and a half she was with them, they were able to give back to those who serve our country and happy to know that Layla was going back to her loving family. Larry and Janet say they’ll have a forever bond now with Layla, and with the Lockes, and are glad to be part of the foster program.
If you are in the area, and would like to be considered to foster pets for active duty military members and their families, you can go here and see how to help. You’ll be supporting the troops and supporting the family members who support them–human and canine alike!
More by Lori Ennis