C Square Farm Fosters Dog With Guardian Angels for Soldiers Pet Program

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:

  • A pure love of animals and clear understanding of what is required to care for them.
  • An intrinsic need to help in some way, support our military, and fulfill your own passion for animals.
  • An understanding that the pet you love and care for will be reunited with its owner following a deployment or emergency hardship.The ability to honor the owner’s wishes regarding the routine of the pet.
  • All family members residing in your home are united in providing this truly unselfish and voluntary act of supporting our heroes.
With Courtney and Neal’s love for animals they were a sure fit for the right pet. Guardian Angels works hard to fit pets to foster homes so that the pets are able to stay as close to a normal life as they are used to. “Neiko really likes being around people, and as most horse people know, at a busy place such as C Square Farm, there are people around all day, therefore Neiko only had to spend a few hours each week alone, and even then he was in the company of our other dogs” Neal described.

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.”

IMG_0471Courtney 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.”

Jamie continues, “We are always looking for volunteers, not only as foster homes, but also to be spokespeople for the organization at various fairs and also on visits to veterans to let them know about the services that Guardian Angels for Soldiers Pets offer. We also have a smaller program that assists veterans with medical expenses for their pets that we always need monetary donations to help fund.”

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!