Winnie Anne Wright
February 24, 2014
Valdosta, GA - Have you ever wondered what service men and women do with their pets when they are deployed? One local group is making sure those pets get plenty of TLC while their owners are away.
"We need to help the people that support our country. They fight for us and we are here because of them. If there's anything we can do to make their lives easier and less stressful while they're serving our country, then we are more than happy to do that", says Julie Greenhaw.
Last fall Greenhaw's husband saw the high rates of euthanasia in our local shelter and decided something needed to be done about it. He founded Pet Guardian Angels, a local group that finds foster homes for pets of Airmen and women stationed at Moody Air Force Base, while they're deployed.
According to Greenhaw, before Pet Guardian Angels, those stationed at Moody would bring their pets here, to the Lowndes County Animal Shelter, prior to their deployment.
Greenhaw also says many airmen didn't realize their healthy pets could be euthanized if not adopted in time. Cindy Hancock has been fostering Magnum, a mixed breed dog who belongs to a local airman.
"It's just opening your heart and your home. To give love and security to a pet, and to give comfort to our soldiers", says Hancock.
The group's representatives at Moody say they know just how hard deployment can be on both dog and master.
"You know like while you're gone, that your dog is going to be cared for and loved for as much as you're going to love for them and then also seeing the family member return and being reunited with a pet, it's an amazing feeling. It's an amazing sight to see", says Tara Thompson, Moody Representative for Pet Guardian Angels.
Hancock says the relationship between foster master and foster pet is mutually beneficial.
A spokesperson for Lowndes County says they are supportive of the positive impact Pet Guardian Angels is having on the community and euthanasia numbers.
For more information on how to donate to Pet Guardian Angels or if you are interested in fostering, call the Humane Society of Valdosta at (229) 242-7729 and select voice mailbox 4.