Q: What was the initial idea that prompted the start of this organization?
A: A problem was identified related to our active duty military service members (primarily single and married couples deploying) whose units had received deployment orders related to a combat or peacekeeping or humanitarian related mission. Where the military pet owner didn’t have a family member or friend able or willing to care for the pets, were having to relinquish their pet and legal ownership rights to shelters/rescue groups. Based on the research related to this problem, the organization was established and our foster home program was introduced in January 2005.
Q:Who are the organization’s primary clients?
A: Active duty single and married couples deploying as defined above. Primarily our clients that need our foster home program the most are: 1) Wounded warrior assistance related to a medical and/or homeless situation by working with the various VA medical and homeless transition program representatives (mentor, counselor, social work, etc. 2)
Q: How does the organization reach out to the military and veterans?
A: Via word of mouth, social media outlets, our website, distributing flyers to those with a need to know of our programs and how we may be able to assist them. In addition, where we have in-state volunteers are involved with attending and participating in pre-deployment workshops. We also share our flyer to shelters/rescue groups across the country for sharing with a military service member who contacts them saying the only reason they have to relinquish their beloved pet is due to deployment or veteran medical related situation.
Q: How do you choose the foster families?
A: What we have done is established a foster home network consisting of individuals and families who have registered through our organization with the interest to open their heart and home to these beloved pets. When a pet submission for assistance is received, the volunteer covering the state would identify the possible foster homes available matching the pet needs with what a specific potential foster home would be comfortable with from a fostering perspective, after speaking with both the pet owner and the potential foster home would ask them to set up a greet and meet (pet owner, their pet(s), foster home residents and their pets) for them to determine if the pet owner feels this would be a place for their pet and the foster home feels the pet would be a good fit into the foster home. Please note, the actual decision as to where the pet will stay is between the military pet owner and a specific foster home in our network, at which time the pet owner and foster home prepare and sign a written agreement.
Q: How long is a typical stay with the foster families?
A: This is dependent on the deployment term, which can be from 3 to 12 months (different by branch of service and deployment type). Request for assistance due to a medical/homeless situation involving a veteran can be from 3 to 9 months.
Q: What sets this organization apart from rescues / shelters?
A: Our organization is a military support organization, assisting our deploying heroes and wounded warriors with pets, so they are not left with the only option but to surrender their beloved pets and pet ownership rights to a shelter/rescue group, never to see them ago or know whether the pet was adopted or euthanized.
Our programs/services are geared toward assisting a military pet owner in keeping their pets, but not for assisting in pet-sitting needs, dumping their pet because the spouse doesn’t want to be bothered/responsible for the family pet while their loved one is deployed, or rehoming the pets to new permanent home because a military family has decided their family pet may be better off in a different home.
Also we are not a resource for shelters/rescue groups looking for new families to adopt a pet that has been legally surrendered to them, just because the pet may have been previously owned by a military service member or family.
Q: Where are your services available?
A: Our programs/services are available to all branches of service in all 50 states, outside of our 2800+ potential foster homes in our foster home network.
Q: How do I start the process to have my pet fostered through Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet?
A: Click on the Submit a Pet link on our and choose the appropriate form(s) for your pet(s) – one submission per pet.
Q: How far in advance do I submit my application?
A: When possible, we request that you submit the form(s) 30 to 60 days prior to the date a foster home is needed. This allows us to find the best fit for your pet(s) with the appropriate foster home and establish the care plan with the host’s veterinarian.
Q: Who runs the day-to-day operations?
A: The day-to-day operations of the nonprofit is handled by 15 volunteers located throughout the USA. We are still a grass roots organization that accomplishes what we do from a virtual perspective (emails and phone calls).
Q: Does the organization receive grants from animal organizations?
A: Since we are not an animal shelter and/or animal rescue group/organization, we are not eligible for grants/funding provided by animal foundations/organizations which are set up to assist those organizations involved with re-homing stray, abandoned, or surrendered to agency animals or spay/neuter clinics.
Q: How does the organization receive funding?
A: We operate based on monies received through direct public support (individuals, businesses, 501c3 organizations) who have chosen to financially support our organization’s efforts and indirect public support (via such entities as Mission Fish/Ebay Giving, Network for Good, and First Giving third parties).