Dogs on Deployment advocates at Santee Summer Concert

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Real heroes love dogs. A sentiment that jumps right off the chest of t-shirt clad Rich Setzer, San Diego Chapter Coordinator of Dogs on Deployment. Setzer was wearing the t-shirt as he worked the Dogs on Deployment tent at the Santee Summer Concert Series in Santee on Aug. 6.

Real heroes love dogs. A sentiment that jumps right off the chest of t-shirt clad Rich Setzer, San Diego Chapter Coordinator of Dogs on Deployment. Setzer was wearing the t-shirt as he worked the Dogs on Deployment tent at the Santee Summer Concert Series in Santee on Aug. 6.

With its beginnings in 2011, Dogs on Deployment was the brainchild of locals Alisa and Shawn Johnson. Dogs, or other pets, are put in dog foster care with volunteer families while their active military owners are on deployment. Dogs on Deployment, which started out locally, now serves military members across the nation.

“The dogs may be with the families from 3 months to a couple of years. It’s like Match.com,” said Setzer. “Except it is with military member’s pets and foster families.”

Setzer also pointed out the families fill out applications online and are vetted in order to serve and support these military men and women by being a foster parent for their pets.

Dogs on Deployment advocates for military pet owner rights on military installations, provides financial assistance to military members to help with pet care, spay and neutering, and appears at community functions to raise the awareness of their program at civilian and military events.

Volunteer Michelle Springer manned the tent, handing out doggie treats and literature relating to the program.

“We have a website and if someone wants to serve they can register online,” she said.

Springer was attracting dog owners and their dogs that were attending the outdoor park concert.

Setzer pointed out that the City of Santee solicited them to appear at the concert with another pet care provider, Camp Bow Wow, who provides boarding for local residents who work or are on vacation.

Which leads up to the City of Santee’s launch of their first ever Fido Fest to debut June 11, 2016 at the Santee Town Center Community Park East. All things dogs will be the theme. Visit the City of Santee website to find out more about this inaugural event.

Setzer said the Dogs on Deployment would be one of the beneficiaries of monies taken in during these dog days of summer fest next year.

To become a pet foster parent and support the members of the military visit www.dogsondeployment.org.

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