Dogs on Deployment Partners with Tractor Supply Co. for Program Recognizing Outstanding Volunteer Boarders & Pet Owners

Dogs on Deployment (DoD) in partnership with our 2020 partner and sponsor, Tractor Supply Co. (TSC), has developed the Dogs on Deployment Honor Guard Program (HGP). The purpose of this program is to spotlight exceptional volunteers and military members within the organization, and recognize them for their dedication to assisting military families and their pets, and the sacrifice they give to our nation.

Selected volunteers recognized in the 2020 Dogs on Deployment Honor Guard:

      • will receive a $250.00 Tractor Supply Co. gift card, to be donated by TSC;
      • will be recognized in Dogs on Deployment marketing communications, including this Military Tails Blog, the DoD newsletter, and social media;
      • will receive a signed thank you card from Dogs on Deployment CEO, Alisa Johnson;
      • will receive a certification of appreciation from Tractor Supply Co; and,
      • will earn a badge on their DoD Boarder online profile.

First Launch Winners of Tractor Supply Donations & Honor Guard Recipients

Together, Dogs on Deployment and Tractor Supply Co. are happy to recognize the inaugural round of Honor Guard recipients. Read below the compelling stories and testimonials written by the military members our DoD Boarders have helped. Without the volunteerism of our DoD Boarders, the pets belonging to these heroes had an uncertain future.

Category of DoD Boarder

Tim & Kim Peppi-Kuenn

Alisa Johnson, President and Co-Founder of Dogs on Deployment says, “It is with great honor that Kim and Tim are honored as our very first DoD Boarder Honor Guard members. They have been a constant source of support to our mission since 2013 when they joined our network. Over the years, I have been touched by seeing their names consistently popping up as boarding over 35+ military pets, commenting across social media, creating pages about the pets they’ve boarded so the military members can stay connected to their pets, contributing with donations for pets in need we’re fundraising for, and the many, many photos, testimonials and kind words I’ve received from them personally. These are the types of supporters you as a leader of an organization are absolutely proud to have, the kind of people you fight to keep as supporters. From the bottom of my heart, thank you Kim and Tim. It is a great honor to have gotten to ‘know’ you over the years!”

With Gratitude – Watkins Family

Chris Watkins boarded his dog, Moomin with the Peppi-Kuenn family in September of 2016. Said Chris, “My family was absolutely blown away by Kim’s compassion, willingness to help, and level of care provided to our family as she watched our dog, “Moomin” while we tackled the overseas move to Spain. Kim was extremely accommodating under very short notice, which went a long way towards alleviating our family’s stress, moving abroad with our newborn! Moomin was left in Tim and Kim’s excellent care as my family and I figured out the logistics of having Moomin shipped to Spain.

While being boarded, we received constant updates and pictures of Moomin, out on his walks and playing with the other dogs being boarded by the Peppi-Kuenns. I doubt there could be more deserving people to be recognized as a part of the Honor Guard. We will always remember and be grateful for the selfless service that Tim and Kim provided our family!”

With Gratitude – Goddard Family

Susie Goddard boarded her dog, Abby with the Peppi-Kuenn family in September of 2018. Said Susie, “Kim not only took in my pup, “Abby” in on relatively short notice when I was supposed to be deployed, she took amazing care of her. Then Kim and Tim went absolutely above and beyond when I ended up not deploying. When we got word that I was medically denied for leaving on my deployment, Kim drove Abby all the way from California to Texas to get her back to me.

Two dogs make friends.

I didn’t have a lot of leave time saved up in order to drive back to California, so Kim ensured that I would have my pup back with me, then went out of her way to make that happen. Kim is deserving of any honor that we can give her for being such an incredible pet caregiver! If and when I ever deploy again, the Peppi-Kuenn family will be the first ones I reach out to because I know they will do an extraordinary job of watching my Abby. Thank you for everything!”

With Gratitude – Champoux Family

Tiffany Champoux boarded the family pets, Presley and Howl with the Peppi-Kuenn family in June of 2017. Said Tiffany, “We were in dire need of a boarder to house our family cats for quarantine prior to deploying to Japan. Kim messaged me and was able to help out, including assistance with all the paperwork needed to send the cats out post quarantine. Kim and Tim went way above and beyond to help us and help many other service members and pets.

 

Kim and Tim are like family and were the only ones able to help us. Not even my own in-laws were competent enough to figure out what to do when it came to understanding what a quarantine meant. So yes, myfamily remains very thankful to them as they took very good care of our cats. I’m also impressed that our big, red tabby, Presley let Tim carry him! He never lets anyone carry him as he is a big, heavy cat, but he let Tim carry him!!”

Tim holds a cat

With Gratitude – Cornejo Family

Elizabeth (Liz) Cornejo boarded her dogs, Kali & Kaos with the Peppi-Kuenn family in June of 2016. Said Liz, “Kim and Tim are amazing. As per usual, there was a short-fused deployment and although they lived three hours away from me, they didn’t hesitate to step up to the plate to help me. When we first arrived there were several other dogs there, and that set my dogs at ease. It was set up like a puppy sanctuary, perfectly prepared for fun, socializing and relaxing.

Throughout my deployment, I received pictures and videos from Kim and Tim, which were always great and timely. When I returned home, there was a customized “welcome home” banner for me attached to their fence – seriously!! Any fur baby would be extremely lucky to be under the care of the Peppi-Kuenn family!”

Kali was recently nominated to serve as Dogs on Deployment’s 2020 Military Pet of the Year, and DoD Mascot.

With Gratitude – Coping Family

Ethan and Kelly Coping boarded the family dog, Lincoln with the Peppi-Kuenn family in June of 2017. Said Kelly, “my husband and I could write a book about the support shown to our family by Tim and Kim. Ethan was deployed overseas and I was still living in a small studio apartment, commuting two hours daily for work. I wouldn’t have been able to give “Lincoln” the daily attention he would require. Ultimately, Tim and Kim came through for us in a very big way. They are truly special people. They’ve sacrificed so much of their daily lives to care for Lincoln and other animals of service members. We are truly forever indebted to them and they have most definitely become a part of our extended family now, especially during these difficult COVID pandemic times!

 

If there is any way to show gratitude to Tim and Kim, we will happily do so. They go above and beyond, looking after as many as five animals at a time – complete with daily walks, camping trips and more. When boarding Lincoln, they refused my offer to buy his food, insisting it was a small service they wanted to provide. Kim and Tim also created our dog’s very own Facebook page, The Adventures of Mr. Lincoln!” Acts like this enable service members families like mine to be able to continue being a part of their pet’s life from a distance. I still tear up when I see the old video pop up in my Facebook feed. The Peppi-Kuenn family are amazing people whom I’ve stayed in touch with over the years since boring my boy. They have my highest recommendation for being honored as part of the Honor Guard.”

With Gratitude – Peterson Family

Benjamin Peterson boarded the family pets, Bastet and Massika with the Peppi-Kuenn family in May of 2018. Said Benjamin, “My family and I were being restationed to Guam from California when we discovered United Airlines made the decision to stop shipping pets. After scrambling and panicking over losing our pets we agreed to let complete strangers take in our cats. We read reviews of Kim and Tim online at Dogs on Deployment, and decided we could trust them to keep our pets safe until we could find another means to ship them.

Over the months while “Bastet and Massike” were boarded we received lots of photos of our kitties, looking comfortable in a room all their own. When an opportunity arose to have them shipped safely and reunited with our family, Kim went to the trouble of getting updated health certifications from the vet, and then attaching photos to each of the cats’ crates. Kim was once a total stranger, but she turned out to save us from losing our pets with her compassion. We’re sure there are bound to be hundreds of other stories like this about Tim and Kim, but the Peppi-Kuenn family really did go above and beyond. We’re so very grateful!”

With Gratitude – Lee Family

Bobbi Lee had her dogs, Titan and Luna boarded with the Peppi family. “I was in a serious pinch. I needed to find someone to watch after my dogs in 3 days and I was frantically calling and messaging anyone on the DoD site. Kim and Tim called me back that night and said that as long as the meet and great went well with their dogs and their other foster pups that they could take them in.

At that time I believe they already had 5 or 6 other dogs in their home. They took in my babies and treated them like their own. Took care of getting them food and any quick vet visits. I never needed to worry about my pups. On top of all that they always make Facebook pages for their fosters so that us mommy’s and daddy’s can see all the new pictures of what they are up to. It’s so hard not having your animals with you but Kim and Tim make it so much easier. They really became more like family by the end.

If that isn’t enough every year they send out the offer to all their previous fosters to join them on their annual camping trip to the mountains. I could not think of anyone more deserving than Kim and Tim Keunn. They have been doing this for years and they almost always have between 5 to 9 dogs at any given time.”

Anne Maier

With Gratitude from Haley Bennett

“Our DoD boarder, Anne Maier, took excellent care of our great Pyrenees Alby. She cooked her special meals, took her on lots of walks, and even bought Alby her own new dog bed, which she sent home with her after boarding! The dog had several seizures while staying with Anne and my family wasn’t sure what to do at first. Fortunately, Ms. Maier took exactly all the right steps, keeping Alby healthy and happy until we were all reunited. We really appreciate everything she did for us. Our thanks to Anne Maier and to Dogs on Deployment!”

Lindsey Dykstra

With Gratitude from Leslie Weisz

“I found Dogs on Deployment through an online search when I was in a real bind. I was tasked with a six month mandatory TDY where dogs were not permitted. Loki’s father was deployed to Afghanistan and his granddad (my father) was traveling to the United States following my mother’s death, leaving him ill equipped to care for our sweet pup, Loki. I struggled to find a good match until I met Lindsey. Lindsey and her family welcomed my little man into their home and lives as if he were their own. She sent me daily updates with pics and videos of Loki enjoying his new “farm-life.” He had so much room to roam and interact with her other dogs and animals.

Lindsey and her family deserve recognition for her incredible treatment of Loki and for their flexibility too. During this TDY, we all experienced the COVID-19 outbreak; this halted plans for Loki’s dad to pick him up since he was immediately quarantined post-deployment. The circumstances also drastically altered the return date for my TDY. Everything was up in the air for a time and there was great uncertainty on when we could reunite with Loki. We didn’t want to burden LIndsey with keeping Loki past the expected date. Lindsey stepped up even further, showing her true compassion. She told us in no uncertain terms that our dog had a home with them for as long as needed. She promised Loki would never be bounced around and brought me to tears.

To know that my precious boy would be so well taken care of during such trying times really showed Lindsey’s true colors and genuine kindness. We were anxious and overwhelmed at the overall state of the world at that time, being separated by miles from loved ones. Lindsey gave me a constant sense of hope and reassurance. She and her family deserve recognition beyond what I could ever describe! Thank you, Lindsey!”

Stella Hanley

With Gratitude from Cheyanne Grams

“I’ve always been a firm believer in helping out other military members,” says Stella Hanley of Abilene, Texas. When she heard about Dogs on Deployment, she was amazed. “I knew there were churches that send care packages to soldiers, but I’d never heard anything about how to help their pets.”

From her own years in the Army, and then as an Army wife, Stella understood well the added worry that military pet owners experience while overseas. “You have to follow through with the commitment you’ve made to your country, and on top of that you might not know what is happening to your pets.” She didn’t hesitate to volunteer as a boarder. “If I’d had pets when I was deployed, I would have wanted to know that somebody was willing to accept them as part of their family.”

Last January, Stella and her family welcomed Dodge, a Lab mix. Dodge immediately hit it off with Allie, Stella’s therapy dog, who has been trained to help her cope with PTSD. Dodge and Allie wrestle and nap together and generally get along like brother and sister.

All of this is a huge relief to Dodge’s owner, Cheyanne, who keeps in touch with Stella through emails, videos and pictures of her boy. “She’d never seen Dodge so active with another dog,” Stella says. Touchingly, Dodge has also caught on to Allie’s therapy dog techniques. “Allie knows to alert me if I’m having a nightmare,” Stella says, “and now Dodge does too. He’ll put his chin on the bed and wag his tail.” It’s a unique connection that Stella is grateful to have, a bonus on top of the satisfaction of helping out a fellow servicewoman. “I know how special Dodge is to her. I am so blessed to be able to spare someone the worry.” (exert from Guide Post interview)

Cheyanne further says, “I wanted to recognize Stella for keeping my pup while I’m gone. She’s introduced him to other dogs as well as cats, she messages me often with pictures and videos, and she checks up on me constantly while I’ve been overseas. I’ve been extended due to the coronavirus and when I told her, she didn’t even hesitate and offered to keep my pup for as long as I needed. I know for a fact that this is going to be a lifelong friendship when I come home. She’s amazing. Looking forward to playdates with our dogs! I don’t know what I would’ve done without her.”

Chris Rickard

With Gratitude from Grace Reilly

Alisa Johnson says of Chris, “[He] truly demonstrates selflessness. Not only has Chris been a long-time volunteer to the Hampton Roads Chapter of Dogs on Deployment, but he has also fostered 9 military pets since 2016. I am very proud to have him being recognized as a DoD Boarder Honor Guard member!”

One of the military members Chris helped in 2019, Grace Reilly, says “Chris graciously agreed to take on my two cats, “Otto and Fernando” for a full seven month deployment when I was really at a loss. Not only did Chris take outstanding care of my two silly cats, he also became a penpal and friend to me. He sent frequent, thoughtful emails with plenty of pics and carefully compressed videos of the boys, along with engaging conversation. Chris even used his engineering skills to build structures all around his home for their climbing pleasure. Since my deployment wound up coinciding with quarantine, Chris took advantage of working from home and spent plenty of time with his furry coworkers.

I couldn’t have asked for a better caretaker or friend! And while I’m sure that based on my experience, Chris is one of a kind, I would recommend him and Dogs on Deployment boarders to fellow service members that may find themselves in a similar bind”

Category of Military Member & Pet Owner

Elizabeth Cornejo, Her Dog, Kali & Boarder, Kim & Tim Peppi-Kuenn

Elizabeth (Liz) Cornejo, is not only to be recognized as our first Military Pet Owner Honor Guard Recipient, but she is also the owner of Dogs on Deployment’s 2020 Military Pet of the Year Winner (see Liz’ story here!).

According to Elizabeth Cornejo, “I was absolutely grateful to have found Kim and her husband Tim through Dogs on Deployment. It was extremely unsettling trying to find a home that would foster my two pups but Kim was open to it. When we arrived, she had three dogs of her own and was also fostering three other dogs. What a houseful!

Kim and Tim created a FB page so that I was able to keep up to date with Kali and Kaos during my deployment. They ensured they took them (all of them) on daily walks. They even sent pictures of them celebrating holidays and birthdays. I had not a worry in the world that my dogs were being well taken care of.

We have formed such a bond with our foster parents that we keep in contact to this day and I try and surprise them with gifts for the dogs to help out! They are such an amazing couple for what they do for our service members! Kim was telling me that one of Kaos’ best friends (Lincoln) will be staying with them for two years as the family is unable to take them to their overseas assignment. What a commitment and love they have not only for our military members but their families! Thank you for everything Kim!”

According to amazing volunteers, Kim & Tim, “since 2013 we have boarded over 33 dogs through Dogs on Deployment. We’re always pleased and proud to help the organization and its military members in any way we can. That includes opening our hearts and homes to dogs like Kali and Kaos for as long as needed!”

KALI_MPOTY2020

 

Additional pet owners to receive a Tractor Supply Gift card as a part of the DoD Honor Guard for the month of August include:

  • Susie Goddard, who nominated the Peppi family
  • Haley Bennett, who nominated the Maier family
  • Cheyanne Grams, who nominated the Hanley family
  • Grace Reilly, who nominated the Rickard family

Dogs on Deployment extends a very special thanks to Tractor Supply Co. (TCS). Read more about our incredible partnership in 2020 by clicking here.

Follow the DoD Honor Guard program with #dodhonorguard!

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