Ohio University ROTC Raises Money To Help Support Military Pets Left Stateside

Ohio University ROTC Raises Money To Help Support Military Pets Left Stateside

Group Devoting Race for a Reason Fundraising to Dogs on Deployment, Folds of Honor

ATHENS, OHIO – Imagine having no other option but leaving your pet at a shelter when you go to serve overseas. No home, no family, and for the military member, no peace of mind.

Far too often, this is the case when a military member is assigned to work overseas. In 2011, military members Shawn and Alisa Johnson looked to solve this problem.

Enter Dogs on Deployment.

Founded by the Johnson’s, the organization provides military members with a network to find volunteers willing to board their pets while they are deployed. After learning about the organization last fall, Ohio University ROTC member Alexandra Hambilton became adamant about finding a way to help these military pets.

Enter Race for a Reason.

“I saw a video for Dogs on Deployment on Facebook and I was instantly drawn in, “ said Hambilton. “When we were deciding what to do for Race for a Reason this year the battalion was immediately on board for adding the organization to our fundraising efforts.”

In years past, the group used Race for a Reason to raise money solely for Folds of Honor, an organization that provides financial assistance and scholarship programs for families of those who had members hurt or killed in action in Afghanistan and Iraq. This year, the battalion split the efforts between the Alpha and Bravo companies, with the Alpha Company raising money for Dogs on Deployment and Bravo fundraising for Folds of Honor. The battalion’s goal is to fundraise $2,500 for each organization.

Alpha company member and dog owner Melinda Leen is excited to do her part to get the Dogs on Deployment name out there to the local community.

“One of the biggest comforts we have as military people are our pets,” claimed Leen. “I have had my black lab Lilly for five years and am a single soldier. Eventually, I might have to have someone else take care of her and there’s no way I could leave knowing she might not be in good hands.”

Leen is also excited about the opportunity to promote Dogs on Deployment in future events outside Race for a Reason.

“After Race for a Reason, we want to continue to have a chance help out these pets,” said Leen. “We want to eventually run our own 5k in the fall, invite families to run with their dogs and give people the opportunity to even volunteer themselves for pet foster homes.”

Finally, Leen invites the rest of the Campus community to find their reason and get involved in the event on April 25.

“I think Race for a Reason is a chance for the students to give back to charities themselves without any pressure. This is truly an event that acts as a big avenue that bonds us all together through individual investment.” said Leen.

For more information on Dogs on Deployment, visit http://dogsondeployment.org/

For more information on Folds of Honor, visit https://www.foldsofhonor.org/

The 2015 OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital Race for a Reason will be held on April 25, 2015 and $10 of every registration fee automatically goes to the charity of the participant’s choice. For more information on the event and how to join, visit http://ohioraceforareason.com/