Dogs on Deployment Takes Early Lead in Veterans Charity Challenge 2

Dogs on Deployment, a 501(c)(3) organization that connects military members with pet care resources, has taken an early lead in the Veterans’ Charity Challenge 2, an online fundraising challenge created by Craigslist founder and philanthropist Craig Newmark. The Charity Challenge kickoff was announced on May 22 on the fundraising website crowdrise.org, and on Newmark’s craigconnects.org website that promotes legitimate, effective non-profits and helps the public identify fake and ineffective charities. During the six week challenge, Newmark has pledged to give a total of $50,000 to nonprofits that support military members and families, veterans, police officers, and firefighters.

During the challenge which runs from May 22 through July 3, 2014, nonprofits aiding soldiers, police officers, and firefighters compete in the challenge by soliciting donations. The charity that raises the most money during the contest period wins $20,000. Organizations finishing second and third in the fundraising challenge will win $10,000 and $5,000, respectively. An additional $15,000 will be given away in smaller weekly challenges throughout the contest.

Dogs on Deployment (DoD) has raised nearly $8000 during the first week of the challenge. DoD provides a network of volunteer foster homes for pets when military personnel are unable to take their animals along on deployment. To date, Dod has helped place more than 500 pets in volunteer foster homes until their owners could reclaim them.

“Winning the Veterans Charity Challenge 2 would make such a difference in the lives of so many active duty military personnel and their families,” said Alisa Johnson, President and Co-Founder, Dogs on Deployment. “A gift of $20,000 would allow us to expand our operations in all 50 states by establishing local chapters, increasing our ability to further aid the military pet communities near every military installation through a direct link to the communities we serve.”

Sgt Christopher Simpson, whose love for dogs inspired will not be forgotten.
Sgt Christopher Simpson, whose love for dogs inspired will not be forgotten.

Many donors are giving in memory of someone loved that they lost during the war, or in memory of a beloved pet who has crossed the rainbow bridge. “I’m donating in memory of Sgt Christopher Simpson. His love for animals while deployed was above the normal. I remember sending packages of just dog treats, toys and food so he could feed the ones that hung with him in Iraq. The smile I heard on the phone when he received those packages. [You are] loved and missed,” dedicates Kate McLaughlin, who made a donation of $50 which can help our organization provide emergency pet care for a military member’s own pet.

DoD’s website, dogsondeployment.org, offers a place for military families to post information about their pets and the assistance they need. Volunteers can go to the website and register as a volunteer boarder, become a sponsor, or make a donation.

In addition to providing the pet fostering network, Dogs on Deployment also promotes responsible pet ownership among military families, raises awareness for the benefits of service dogs for those suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, advocates for standardized military pet policies at all U.S. military installations, and provides financial assistance to military families for emergency pet care, spaying/neutering, and pet relocation. DoD serves active military, veterans, and Wounded Warriors from all branches of the U.S Armed Forces. The fostering network is available for all types of domesticated animals.

For more information, email fundraise@dogsondeployment.org

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