When looking for a new way to volunteer and give back to our armed forces, Courtney came across an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer describing the Guardian Angels for Soldiers Pet program, and thought it was a good match for her and her husband, Neal’s lifestyle.
Guardian Angels for Soldiers Pet is an organization that places pets of soldiers who are facing deployment or and unforeseen hardship in a foster home until the soldier is able to care for their pet again. Started in 2005, Guardian Angels was founded after it was learned that so many military service personal needed help caring for their pets during their times of service or hardship, and had no one to help them. This often left them with one option, to legally surrender their pet to a rescue or animal shelter where they were left with no knowledge where their pet could end up.
The majority of the foster homes are needed for an average of 2-13 months; Courtney and Neal were placed with Neiko, “the big yellow dog,” for a little over two months. To qualify as a foster home they had to meet the following requirements:
When asked her favorite part of the experience Courtney said, “Neiko was a very cool dog so having him around was a joy in itself, but the best part was seeing him return home to his Soldier and know that we had given his pet a safe and fun place to stay while being well cared for in his time away.”
Courtney and Neal worked with Jamie Mertz, who volunteers as the Foster Coordination Liaison for Pennsylvania to be matched up with Neiko. Jamie shares, “Our organization provides our armed forces and veterans with the peace of mind that their pets are taken care when they need it most. Whether it is while they are receiving medical treatment for a short period, or deployed for many months, we are able to provide care for their pets through our network of foster homes.”
For anyone looking for a unique way to support armed forces, Courtney and Neal highly recommend getting in touch with Guardian Angels. Courtney shares, “We would absolutely foster for Guardian Angels again, and would highly recommend this program to anyone who has the desire to serve and volunteer in this way.”
For more information on Guardian Angels for Soldiers Pet please their website HERE!