Tag Archives: fundraising

Dog Days of August: A Dogs on Deployment Milestone / Pet Chit Updates / ResQWalk Reminder

Summer 2016: DoD Marks Milestone

Dogs on Deployment has been through its growing pains since its very modest and humble beginnings.

We are proud to say that we have just helped deploy our 1,000th pet! This significant milestone has been many years in the making – five long years, to be exact. And during this, our fifth year “in business,” we are still working like dogs (no pun intended) to serve as a valuable resource for military members and their families who need help being reunited with their beloved pets.

Deploying 1,000 pets of all kinds is no easy task! Dogs on Deployment is aware that we owe thanks to the many sponsors, supporters, DoD boarders and volunteers across the United States who have helped every day to successfully reunite 1,000 loving military families with their fur babies. Never doubt it — our mission and important work will continue.

Along with extending our deep gratitude to everyone who pitches in to get the job done, it sounds like Team DoD collectively deserves a pat on the back as well as “two-paws up!”

Pet Chit Updates

Although Dogs on Deployment deploys great numbers of dogs and cats (probably since dogs and cats make up the majority of domestic pets), remember that all military pets are eligible for boarding. We work tirelessly to reunite as many military families with their pets as possible, and are keenly aware that pets do a great deal to enhance and complete our lives in numerous ways.

Here are brief profiles of a few recently deployed pets, including a ferret and a rabbit for you to enjoy.

  • Ripley – a one-year old female ferret, and member of the family for Jessica Ogline. Jessica serves our country in the United States Air Force, as an A1C, and soon to be SrA (Senior airman). By the way, since deploying, Ripley got herself a little brother to love — meet four-month old Dexter, also pictured here.
Ripley makes her debut!
Ripley makes her debut!
Lil brother, Dexter, above and right; below, bath-time means cuteness overload!


  • Bugs – you guessed it, the bunny – adorable and beloved pet of Joshua and his wife, Cheyenne. Joshua Smith serves our country in the United States Air Force, E-4, a SrA (Senior airman). We’re happy to report that Bugs bunny is doing great! This rabbit just made the intelligent choice to get neutered, which the Smiths were told would extend his life by about 6 years. Bugs is enjoying his swanky new cage since deploying (it is meant for two bunnies).
Bugs Bunny here, at your service.
What's up (DOC)?
Who could say ‘no’ to a face like this?


  • Lia Gustin, happy member of the family for Alex Gustin, E-5 of the United States Army. His family was granted a pet chit to help move everyone from deployment in Okinawa, Japan to London, England. The Gustin family said, “Thanks again to the team at Dogs on Deployment. We are all so grateful for the help!”


Lia - reporting for duty.
Lia – reporting for duty.


Lia thinks about enjoying the sand and surf!


Dogs on Deployment also helped recently to deploy two birds as well as a snake, who so far have remained camera-shy, but who we’ll gladly feature once we have their pictures. Stay tuned!

ResQWalk Reminder

Exciting news! For the month of August DoD has been participating of an online promotion with ResQwalk and Pet’s Best Health Insurance! Details are below!

We teamed up with the ResQwalk app for a special month long digital walkathon campaign to raise awareness for DoD and our mission. For every person who downloads the app and participates in “The ResQwalk for Military Pets”, Pets Best will donate $1 to us (up to $1,000)! If you don’t have the app already, there are links at the bottom of this note. When you create your account, select Dogs on Deployment as your charity and you are set!

The total goal is to have 350k miles walked! In addition to the Pets Best total donation, we want to hit the goals below:

100k – ResQwalk will make a donation to our Pet Chit program.
200k – ResQwalk will make a donation to us of $1,000 worth of ResQwalk for Military Pets gear.
250k – ResQwalk will make a donation to our Pet Chit program.
300k – We will receive $3,000 worth of ResQwalk swag (They will be selling the attached Dog Tags and T-shirts during the month and we will receive a percent of the profits on their website: http://resqthreads.com/)

Throughout the month, there will be posts on the main page that can go out about the walkathon. We will try and let you know in here when something posts, but keep an eye out!

Download ResQwalk for Android: https://goo.gl/mhQzHd
Download ResQwalk for iPhone: https://goo.gl/oYQsae

Happy walking!








2016 Veterans Charity Challenge 4 is Here

Support Dogs on Deployment in our Quest to Be the Best in the 2016 Veterans Charity Challenge 4

Dogs on Deployment will again this year participate in the upcoming Veterans Charity Challenge 4, which launches May 25th at 12pm ET, and runs through July 6th at 1:59:59pm ET. It is our hope, according to Dogs on Deployment President and Co-Founder, Alisa Johnson that DoD comes in first place in 2016 and meets the goal of raising over $40,000 (what’s that? – do I hear $50,000?!) to directly benefit the Pet Chit Financial Assistance Program. Our successful Pet Chit program strives to keep military families together with their pets. Dogs on Deployment came in second place the last two years it participated in this friendly competition.

The Veterans Charity Challenge 4 (VCC4) is an online fundraising challenge created and hosted by Craigslist founder and philanthropist Craig Newmark. His efforts have already significantly helped to raise both money and awareness for organizations benefitting America’s heroes, including military members and their families. Through the VCC4 and his charity, craigconnects, Mr. Newmark has pledged to give a total of $50,000 to a variety of nonprofit organizations. Follow this link for more information. https://www.crowdrise.com/veteranscharitychallenge4

Keep Your Eyes on the Prize

The organization that succeeds in raising the most money during the fundraiser will be awarded additional big money prizes!

  • First place receives $20,000
  • Second place receives $10,000
  • Third place receives $5,000
  • Fourth place receives $2,500
  • Fifth place receives $1,000

Dogs on Deployment raised $32,800 in 2014 and $31,266 in 2015, coming in second place both years. Those are impressive numbers for sure, but the Veterans Charity Challenge is our one and only fundraising campaign of the year! Our goal is to raise $40,000 in 2016 and get first place bonus money.

  • Any monies raised are 100% tax-exempt donations.
  • Total money raised goes directly to supporting Dogs on Deployment’s foster network and our Pet Chit Program.
  • People can contribute locally through their local DoD chapters; and
  • Anyone can fundraise for Dogs on Deployment by joining the team.

There are prizes for the top fundraising teams! BONUS CHALLENGES to win too!!

But Wait, … There’s More!

In addition to the overall prizes, there are bonus challenges we can win. Bonus challenges take place at different intervals during the overall competition and represent an additional opportunity to show support of Dogs on Deployment.


The organization that raises the most online this week will win $1,500.


Every organization that raises at least $500 this week will be entered to win $1,500. And, there will be 2 winners.


The two organizations that raise the most online this week will play Rock, Paper, Scissors. The organization that wins Rock, Paper, Scissors gets $1,000 and the organization that does not win gets $500.


Every charity that raises at least $200 online this week will get entered to win $200. There will be 10 winners.


The top four organizations to raise the most online this week each will each win $500.


Raise at least $1,500 online this week for a chance to win $1,500.

Quit Barking and Sign Me Up!

The Dogs on Deployment Page fundraising page through which donations can be made is:


Stay tuned — DoD will post updates when the challenge gets underway.


Operation Drool Overload!

Through a common love of dog and country, The Lazy Dog Cookie Co, Inc. and Dogs on Deployment are partnering to launch “Operation Drool Overload,” a delicious, peanut butter and molasses-flavored grain-free dog treat. A portion of the proceeds from every box of Operation Drool Overload purchased will benefit Dogs on Deployment, and its mission to provide service members peace of mind when it comes to their beloved pets.

“Dogs on Deployment is dedicated to promoting responsible, life-long pet ownership, and it is the support of exceptional organizations like Lazy Dog Cookie Co. that help us make a difference for military pet owners,” said Debbie Gaskell, Executive Director of Dogs on Deployment. “We are honored to be working together on such a unique and exciting opportunity.”

The limited-edition, custom-made packaging featuring Leonidas, the 2015 Dogs on Deployment Military Pet of the Year and mascot, can be purchased at independent pet stores, boutiques across the USA and online.

“[We] are thrilled and proud to support our military and their animals through our partnership with Dogs on Deployment,” said Keith Augustine, Vice President of Sales for Lazy Dog Cookie Co.” For more information on this partnership, please visit Dogs on Deployment.

Hogwarts Running Club Partners with DoD – Weasley’s Wizarding Wheezer 5K

HogwartsIn a unique pairing, Dogs on Deployment (DoD) partnered with the Hogwarts Running Club  for a “virtual running” fundraiser this spring. The Hogwarts Running Club created by United States Air Force Lt. Colonel Brian Biggs, is a virtual running club with a Harry Potter theme.

10982893_363164680536133_8076630302780717247_n (1)
Proud virtual 5K finishers supporting DoD!

Virtual running clubs allow participants anywhere in the world to register for a race, and then run or walk the race at their own convenience, whether on a treadmill, at a park, or in their own neighborhood.

The Hogwarts Running Club initiated this partnership with Dogs on Deployment having heard from some of their members who were already supporters of DoD.  Since this fundraiser was to be held in early April, the Hogwarts Running Club chose Harry Potter’s Weasley twins as the theme, as the red-headed jokesters share an April Fool’s Day birthday on April 1st.

Wizarding 5K Participant with twins
Proud mom, supporting DoD and Hogwarts Running Club..and she has her own twins!

The 5k fundraiser was called, Weasley’s Wizarding Wheezer 5K. As soon as participants registered, they received a race bib, and upon completion, a specially designed medal that read “Mischief Managed.”

Lt. Col. Brian Biggs enthusiastically agreed that this fundraiser would be a great fit between Hogwarts running club, and Dod,  When asked what ultimately led to him choosing DoD as a partner, Biggs said,

Mischief Managed1
Mischief Managed Medal – front
Mischief Managed 2
Mischief Managed Medal – back

“As for my feelings on DoD, I can only say this: I did it for Fenway. Fenway was my (200 pound) Great Dane who passed away from cancer just ten days before I returned home from deployment in 2013. Fortunately, he died warm in his home with my wife by his side to calm him and ease his transition. I cannot imagine how much more difficult his death would have been if it had happened in a cold, unfamiliar boarding location with nothing but strangers around…if at all. Not everyone is as fortunate as I was to be able to have my wife with Fenway when he died. As a currently serving member of the United States Air Force, the only thing that is as important to me as my service to my country is my dedication to my family. That includes my entire family…my wife, my daughter, our three dogs, and our two cats. We have faced the emotional struggles of balancing what is best for my career and what is best for our entire family. Dogs on Deployment is providing a critical resource to military families…to ALL members of our military families…to make sure our family is taken care of when we answer the call to serve our nation. For those families, for those animals…for Fenway…I say thank you to all the volunteers and foster families who do such incredible work in service to our nation.”

More proud 5K finishers!

At registration’s close, there were 667 participants from 47 states, 5 Canadian provinces, the United Kingdom, Germany, Portugal, and Australia, making this the largest Hogwarts Running Club race on record. After deducting costs for the medals that are distributed to all who complete the race, the remaining proceeds will be distributed to DoD.

Redneck Run! Register Now!

Arizona sure does know how to have a good time. The Redneck Run, an annual event held there, and sponsored by Field Works Events and Marketing, has chosen Dogs on Deployment’s Arizona chapter as its charity of choice this year.

The Redneck RunRedneckAd-2 copy is a fun-for-all race, with a Country Mile, a 5K course, a 10K course and a 10K relay, featuring four country bands at the start and finish lines, and throughout the courses.

Medals for all finishers, carnival games and costume prizes make this run a unique and fun community experience. There’s a race after-party at Whiskey Rose, the local

There’s even a special contest for the “plunger” relay. Racers compete in the 10K relay, using a toilet plunger as their “baton,” decorated…of course.

And, all this fun is benefitting Dogs on Deployment this year!

“The Redneck Run has always helped animal charities and we are proud to be able to support the men and women in our military, and their pets.” said Darryl Toupkin, President of FieldWorks and producer of the Redneck Run.

This yearʼs Redneck Run will be held at Westgate Entertainment District in Glendale, Arizona on Saturday April 4, 2015.

To register or for more information, see www.redneckrunaz.com or call 480-609-3978.

For discounted entry, visit GovX!

DoD in the Florida Citrus Parade

Everyone loves a parade! When it’s a nationally recognized one, like the Florida Citrus Parade, it’s easy to get even more excited.

tala parade2This year, parade organizers asked Dogs on Deployment to march alongside national companies, sponsors and organizations, in all their citrus-float-glory, to help raise awareness for all that we do for active duty men and women, and their pets.

It was an exciting, fun-filled day!

The volunteers were out in full force, including all the kids they could muster.  jessie parade

Vet Noise Makes Some Noise for Dogs on Deployment

YVBC puppy with banner
This little guy makes a perfect addition to the DoD booth, don’t you think?

More often than not, our fundraising events are amazing. We have fantastic volunteers, super supporters, and of course, adorable animals. Still, every once in a while, an event is worth stopping to highlight because it’s extra special.

A lot of planning, organization and coordination went into the fundraiser at Young Veterans Brewing Company, last month. It started with the Hampton Roads Military Relocation Team (HRMRT), a local real estate company that works with assisting military families.

Hampton Roads Military Relocation Team presents a check to our volunteers after the event
Hampton Roads Military Relocation Team presents a check to our volunteers after the event

HRMT (FB) has established a foundation, Vet Noise,  which works exclusively with the Young Veterans Brewing Company to hold monthly fundraising events for veteran and military charities.

At each of these fundraisers, the brewing company donates a percentage of its sales to the charity of choice for the month, as well as hosting the event.

Suzanne Bannister, HRMT’s PR liaison, met our Norfolk area coordinator, Myra Smith, at a Tidewater Officer Spouse’s Association meeting, and the rest is history. She couldn’t wait to get involved with Dogs on Deployment.

YVBC volunteer group
Volunteers enjoying the great day, and taking a moment to pose in front of our info booth.

So, Dogs on Deployment worked with Vet Noise, Young Veterans Brewing Company and HRMT to coordinate one of their monthly events. October worked out best for everyone, and what a month it was!

Even the local media took notice of just what a special event this was to be. A local newspaper editor helped with press releases to her contacts in the surrounding communities, and we got a spot on the televised news.

yvbc great dane
Big dogs, little dogs, all dogs welcome at this event!

On October 26, all the planning came together, and from 3pm to 7pm, we watched the community come together. A live band played, there was a massage company donating time, and a bakery donating revenue from its sales.

The raffle items that HRMT donated was truly astounding: everything from pet supply gift baskets, to spa packages and tools from Lowe’s. We even had Broadway Show tickets, donated by a DoD volunteer, to give away. All totaled, over $10,000 of prizes were available.

Costume Contest YVBC
Pretty sure this guy deserves a prize!

Plus, it was a pet friendly event! Not only was Lizzi London there to showcase her new, handmade pet clothes, but the pet costume contest, just in time for Halloween, was a huge hit!

The winner walked off with a prize package of London’s exclusive designs.

YVBC puppy

Since Vet Noise (FB) started in May, the DoD event is the largest in attendance that they’ve had. We can’t help but think that we had something to do with that.

We are so thankful and proud to have partnered with Vet Noise and HRMT, and we are grateful to say that we raised $1,200 in one afternoon of fun. Thanks!

If you have a brewery, and want to get involved in a similar fundraising event, consider our Brews, Dogs and Veterans Program!

A Final Reunion Between Sailor and Beloved Mija

Pretty Mija, looking strong and healthy
Pretty Mija, looking strong and healthy

It’s certainly hard to forget Mija. Earlier this year, she won the hearts of Dogs on Deployment supporters when we shared her story.

Kery and Lee Rader, when facing Lee’s deployment, found a wonderful foster, Donna Magee, through our network of boarders. Unfortunately, Mija got sick during her stay with Donna; she was diagnosed with Lymphoma.

Donna’s quick attention and loving care helped with treatment. She applied for a Dogs on Deployment Pet Chit to offset the crippling cost of treatment, and she nursed Mija through chemotherapy. Thanks to donations, we were able to donate over $2,000 towards Mija’s care.

For health crises like this, it’s always a good idea to be prepared. Dogs on Deployment partners with Pets Best Insurance, and recommends that every pet owner consider policies for their animal(s).

Mija seemed to be feeling better for a short time, and she was scheduled to finish her treatments this December. This was great news for Lee, who was scheduled to be home in October.

Mija, recovering from treatment
Mija, recovering from treatment

Sadly, their reunion turned out to be bittersweet. Shortly before Mija and Lee were to meet again, Mija’s health took a turn for the worse; it seemed to be only a matter of days.

Still, it seemed like she had something she was holding on for: a few more kisses and another scratch from Lee.

She got just that, at their reunion. Unfortunately, Mija passed away very shortly after they were reunited.

So many people donated to Mija’s care that we wanted to express thanks for getting her to this moment that her family so desperately wanted, and to share with you that it occurred, despite the fact that she is no longer with us. While it’s heartbreaking that she has passed away, it’s so wonderful that she was able to be with her family again, and we also want to express our pride in our network of boarders and supporters.

When Children Inspire Us

Brendan Meerdink is unique young man who at 5 years old has planned out this campaign to raise money for his two favorite things: Soliders and Dogs.
Brendan Meerdink is unique young man who at 5 years old has planned out this campaign to raise money for his two favorite things: Soliders and Dogs.

It always amazes me to see young kids recognize the need to do good in the world, and then take action. Such is the case for five-year old, Brendan Meerdink. After seeing an ad on the TV for CustomInk’s Booster campaign, an online fundraising site which raises money through the sale of t-shirts, Brendan got to thinking, he should start a fundraiser for something he cares about. His mother, whom Brendan had almost recently lost due to health complications, saw an opportunity to teach Brendan about the true meaning of selfless and caring.

Brendan began naming things that he cared about and would like to raise money for. Brendan has a sensory processing disorder, but that hasn’t stopped him from being an intelligent and caring young man. He is able to focus his attentions on his love for animals, and currently lives with his two best friends, a Norweigan Elkhound and Yorkie. He loves the military and he is a complete animal-lover, so many of his choices centered around either military organizations, or animal organization. Then his mother remembered seeing Dogs on Deployment on Facebook and showed Brendan our organization’s website. Brendan, excited that our group brought together his love for the military and his love for animals, began screaming and jumping up and down with joy.

Brendan begun his fundraiser after his kindergarten spring break and now has 4-days to go. He’s trying to sell 50 military-dog inspired, green t-shirts to help raise money for Dogs on Deployment. We hope our fans will not only love his design, but show a great deal of respect for a kid that understands generosity and love. So help make his dream come true, and check out his Booster campaign here!