Tails from the Front Line

Official Blog of Guardian Angels for Soldier's Pet



Foster Coordination Liaison Volunteer Recruiting Need

We are looking for individuals who wish to become part of the Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet mission as a Foster Coordination Liaison (FCL) involved with working with our service members, wounded warriors, veterans, and families of our fallen warriors who need assistance via our MVP Foster Home program, which also includes vetting and interacting with those individuals and families who have registered as potential foster homes through our organization.

Primarily at this time we are looking for FCLs to cover the states of AR/OK, AZ, CO, LA, MN, MO, NV, AL/GA, NC/SC, TN, VA/WV, MD/DC, and TX.

This is a virtual volunteer role where your efforts can be accomplished via the phone and Internet (emails) and includes the following criteria:

  • A passion to help our military service members, wounded warriors, veterans, and families of our fallen warriors.
  • Interact and maintain communication with our registered potential foster homes, plus work with others (inside and outside the organization) as required
  • Be a self-starter, has excellent organizational, interpersonal, and management skills, plus able to work independently and as a “team” player.
  • Understand and agree to follow and adhere to the Organization’s mission, purpose, operating procedures, and organizational policies/guidelines.
  • Comfortable using and access to MS office (such as Word, Excel), communicate via the internet, phone calls, and email.
  • Previous customer service, volunteer nonprofit managerial and animal related coordination/placement experience helpful
  • Help promote the organization, it’s mission, and programs with others via sharing our flyers, brochures, and other items as requested by the organization’s National office.
  • Able to commit at least 1 year in this position
  • Provide the required monthly reports (coordination activity and volunteer service hours) by the date as determined by the organization’s National office.
  • Estimated Volunteer Time per Month: averaging 25-30 hours – Please be advised actual hours per month is variable on a state by state basis.

Those interested in learning more about the volunteer positions or to apply, visit HERE.

How to Read a Pet’s Behavior during a Home Transition

This post was written as a guest post from the law firm of Skousen, Gulbrandsen & Patience, PLC of Mesa, Arizona as a way to provide guidance on transitioning a pet into a foster home and issues that the Foster Home should be aware of when taking care of a pet that is not theirs.

Separation anxiety is not only for humans. Your pets can have it too. There are always concerns when you have to leave your pet at home for extended periods. It could be worse though. You could be a member of our armored forces and not know the exact particulars of when you will return home to tend to your pet’s needs. That is where organizations like Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet come in. The kind individuals who volunteer for this and similar organizations help arrange foster homes for pets of soldiers so that they can get appropriate care and attention during their human’s absence.

The transition, however, may not be as easy as it seems.

Pets require that three core needs be met when transitioning into a foster home —comfort, fun distractions and perceptive caregivers.

While it has been documented that a dogs’ intelligence is similar to that of a toddler, dog owners know that their emotional intelligence goes much deeper. Sudden changes in a dog’s environment can lead to anxiety, depression, separation anxiety and even fear-aggression. If you are a family that is looking to foster a pet for a soldier, it is important to remember that many factors go into easing the pet’s confusion of unfamiliar surroundings. When transitioning into a foster home, it is not uncommon for dogs to act aggressively out of fear. Not only is it important to provide a temporary safe home for your new furry foster friend, but it is also important to ensure that the dog feels safe and secure, both for the dog’s sake and for the sake of members of the foster family.

When a child goes for a sleepover at a friend’s house, they likely take their own pillow or blanket. Taking items that guest post - shutterstock_160983011are familiar to the pet to the foster home can also provide some comfort as they cope with their temporary loss of
their human. Be sure to learn ahead of time whether the soldier’s pet is comfortable with other animals and small children. This will also help the transition process. If the pet does not feel comfortable or recognize familiar items such as their favorite dog bed, snacks or toys, they may slip into depression or even exhibit fearful and aggressive behavior. When the pet first arrives to your home, be sure to allow it plenty of space and allow it to meet other members of the family, including other pets, on its own terms. Provide a safe place for the pet, such as a familiar crate or room, that the pet can “escape” to when it wants some alone time.

Fun Distractions
Great foster families will be able to provide the pet the distractions it needs, whether it is another four-legged guest post shutterstock_222772792companion to play with, or frequent outings such as walks and trips to the dog park. It especially helps if the foster family lives in the same neighborhood because their foster pet will have their favorite spots to sniff! Granted, the distractions will not always prevent moments of sadness or depression, but it will help to make the transition easier – just like a child at camp or with a family member leaving home to live on-campus at a college.

Perceptive Caregivers
Caring for a pet is very similar to caring for another human. As humans, we have a sixth sense, so to speak, to be keen on when someone around you is suddenly upset, sad or angry. We also tend to pick up emotional cues from changes in body language. Take aggressive dogs for example. Common signs of a dog feeling aggressive include the following:

  • bared teeth
  • raised hair on their backs
  • stiffened limbs
  • lowered heads in an attempt to seem intimidating
  • Fixated stare
  • growling

When a dog shows these behavioral traits, they are feeling aggressive or threatened in their “territory.” This behavior can be expected from protective or possessive dogs as well as dogs that are experiencing fear. Failure to heed these warning signs can escalate the situation. The dog is clearly warning everyone to stay away, but if nobody listens, the dog may feel it has no choice but to bite. In order to prevent this from occurring, the caregiver must first take care to avoid triggering an aggressive reaction (see more on that here). If the dog begins to exhibit these behaviors, immediately jump into action. They could take the following actions:

  • Call the pet away (if the pet will listen)
  • Stay calm (don’t get panicked) and avoid eye contact with the dog
  • Walk away from the dog slowly and instruct everyone else to give the pet some space
  • As soon as the dog stops growling or baring its teeth, offer a high-value treat such as a small piece of cheese or meat.
  • Take things at a slower pace and reward the dog for interacting positively with members of the household.

If a dog bite has occurred, take the following actions:

  • Do not overreact – keeping calm will help calm the pet down. Do not punish or discipline the dog, but if possible, gently escort them to their safe area of the home, so they can calm down.
  • Separate the aggressing factors (such as two opposing dogs) to help neutralize their feelings or emotions. Most dog fights are over in seconds with very little damage done, so it is important to not make a big deal out of it, and simply keep the dogs separated at any time where you cannot supervise.
  • Get identification information from all involved as well as two witnesses, if, for example, you are in a public place. Helpful identification factors include name, address, phone number and even insurance information in case medical care is sought.
  • Treat the bite (some bites are minor and only require antiseptic solutions and bandages; other bites are more serious and require medical attention)
  • If you are the owner or caregiver of the biter, seek legal representation in anticipation of any legal charges.

Fostering a pet for someone else will come with its challenges, but anticipating the potential issues will help make you prepared for any and all possible scenarios. By attending to the pet’s core needs, you will help make their transition to your home the best it possibly can be.

logo2Skousen, Gulbrandsen & Patience, PLC of Mesa, Arizona provided this guest post as a courtesy to increase awareness of how dog bites occur. Our law firm has excellent perception into dog bite cases as well as those regarding other serious personal injuries. If you would like additional insight into your injury case, please seek our legal representation by filling out our contact form today!


National Volunteer Appreciation Week

Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet like many “All Volunteer” 501c3 nonprofit organizations are only able to operate and accomplish its mission due to the generosity, time, and energy provided by those who wish to make a difference in our society. All of our volunteers are deeply appreciated and are critical in the daily operations of our organization. They are dedicated 150% to supporting our military service member, veterans and their pets.

As a small token of the hard work and dedication these volunteers provide, we simply want to say “Thank you” to the following volunteers.

  • Donna (TX)
  • Cherie (TX)
  • Lynne (AL)
  • Kim (NV)
  • Catherine (CA)
  • Liz (TN)
  • Nancy (MN)
  • Amanda (IN)
  • Cari (MS)
  • Carol (IN)
  • Courtney (AZ)
  • Susan (MO)
  • Lindsay (CA)
  • Alison (WI)
  • Cindy (NC)
  • Janna (WA)
  • Kim (LA)
  • Shawna (TN)
  • Madolyn (TX)
  • Sandy (WI)
  • Heather (IA)
  • Matthew (IA)
  • Tonya (MO)
  • JoAnn (PA)
  • Megan (TN)
  • Marlous (TX)
  • Victoria (MI)
  • Jessica (VA)
  • Linda (TX)
  • Tammy (WI)
  • Sally (MN)

Announcement: New Regional Directors Provide Better Customer Service to our MSM’s

All volunteer 501(c)(3) non-profit military and veteran service organization cares for military and veterans’ companion pets.

Gatesville, TX, January 8, 2013 – Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet© announces organizational changes to better serve and assist the military communities around the country with the addition of the Regional Director volunteer position.

This new role was established to provide additional assistance and guidance to our state level coordination volunteers currently in place plus oversee the efforts within the states assigned to a specific region.

In addition, the Regional Directors will act as a liaison between the State Support Teams in their respective region and the organization’s National Office plus the National Staff, providing a higher level of service to our Clients, their beloved furbabies, foster home volunteers plus our state level volunteers across the country.

The newly appointed Regional Directors for the organization are as follows:

Central Region: Heather O’Brien
IA, KS, NE, ND, and SD

Southern Region: Cherie Boudreaux
: AZ, LA, NM, and TX

Southeastern Region: Shawna Michaud
AL, AR, FL, GA, IL, IN, KY, MS, NC, SC, and TN

Eastern Region: JoAnn Pilston
Covering: DE, NJ, PA, WV

About Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet©:
ALL volunteer 501c3 nonprofit “Military & Veterans Service Organization” (MVSO) supporting our active duty Military, Wounded Warriors, homeless Veterans, and their beloved Pets to ensure the pets are reunited with their owners following a deployment related to a combat or peace-keeping or humanitarian mission or unforeseen medical and/or homeless hardship situation through various programs, services, and capital projects. For more information about who we are, our programs/projects, and ways to help, visit

Media Inquiries:

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