Help is now available for military families with pets in the New Orleans area.
Dogs on Deployment, a national network of volunteers who board military pets, is now operating in Louisiana.
“We are a national, all-volunteer nonprofit with multiple benefits for military pet parents, and our resources also help shelters, rescues and veterinarians. We now have a coordinator in Louisiana, and we are trying to let people know how we can help. The organization was created by a dual military couple, both of whom are still active duty,” said Kristine Lacoste, New Orleans coordinator for Dogs on Deployment.
Volunteers with Dogs on Deployment register online to board military pets; military members post their pets (dogs, cats, birds — any type can be listed) and their deployment dates, whether it is a two-week training or a two-year overseas deployment; and people offer to watch their pets until they return. This keeps pets from being surrendered to shelters and rescues, and the military members have peace of mind knowing they will get their pets back when they return.
It should be noted that Dogs on Deployment is a listing site only. It does not create boarding arrangements and is not responsible for any outcome of a boarding arrangement. Pet owners have the responsibility of choosing a boarder with whom they are comfortable entrusting their pets’ care. Home checks, vet checks and references are encouraged when deciding on someone to care for a pet.
Dogs on Deployment also offers a Pet Chit program, which provides financial assistance to military pet parents. Money is available to active and retired (honorably discharged) military members to help pay their veterinary bills for expenses such as spay/neuter and medical emergencies or relocation costs for their pets. Since the launch of Dogs on Deployment in 2011, the program has given out more than $109,000, and several thousand dollars have been granted to military members in Louisiana this year.
Residents of Louisiana can sign up at dogsondeployment.org to become a volunteer boarder or donate to the Pet Chit program and help military service members across the nation.
Dogs on Deployment is an all-volunteer organization; no one receives a paycheck. Donations that are not used for operating expenses go straight to military members.
“Hopefully, by making sure more people are aware of what we do, we can keep pets with their families and ease the strain on shelters and rescues,” Lacoste said.
People interested in volunteering in the New Orleans area can contact Kristine Lacoste at la-neworleans@dogsondeploy ment.org to learn of the various ways to help this organization.
SPCA FUNDRAISER: On Wednesdays in September, participating Zea restaurants will donate 20 percent when patrons mention the Louisiana SPCA. Participating Zea locations include Kenner, Clearview, Harahan, Harvey, Slidell and Covington.
For information, visit www.zearestaurants.com.
ADOPTION EVENT: The Jefferson SPCA will hold an adoption event from 11 am. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 5, at Petco, 3520 Veterans Memorial Blvd, Metairie. For information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
FERAL CAT TNR: The Louisiana SPCA will present a free workshop on trap-neuter-return for feral cats from 10 a.m to noon Saturday, Sept. 5, at 1700 Mardi Gras Blvd., New Orleans. For reservations, call (504) 762-3306. For information, visit www.la-spca.org/tnrclass.
ROCK, RIDE & RESCUE: Sunpie Barnes & the Sunspots will perform during the Rock, Ride & Rescue benefit from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 6, at Rock ’n’ Bowl, 3016 S. Carrollton Ave., New Orleans. The beneficiaries will be the Louisiana SPCA off-site adoption team’s heartworm fund, the Greater New Orleans Therapeutic Riding Center, the Molly the Pony Foundation and Hail Mary Rescue. There will be a silent auction, raffles, bake sale, dancing, bowling and a cash bar. Advance tickets are $10 and are available at www.la-spca.org/rockriderescue or by calling (504) 453-3048.
LOST OR FOUND PETS: In Orleans Parish, you can send a photo, description of your pet, date lost/found and your contact information to email@example.com.
Traci D. Howerton is social media editor of Animal Rescue New Orleans, a nonprofit, volunteer-based, no-kill shelter. Contact ARNO at animal firstname.lastname@example.org, visit animalrescueneworleans.org or call its recorded information line at (504) 571-1900.