Texoma non-profit connects deployed military members with pet fosters

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VALLEY VIEW, Tex. (KXII) Deployment can be stressful enough especially when you have a pet no one can look after while you're gone.

Daniel Kelley was deployed to Afghanistan for several months.

At the time he didn't have to worry about finding someone to look after his dog.

But one of his friends wasn't as lucky.

"It was considered an aggressive breed and no body wanted to take it in and he had to give up his dog before he left for his deployment to Iraq," Kelley said.

Kelley says it was something that still weighs heavily on his friend's heart.

"It's one of his biggest regrets and he still talks about it to this day and that was about 8 years ago," Kelley said.

And he isn't the only soldier with a similar story.

Michelle Lyon's friend who works at a shelter gets several calls just like this.

"Five to 10 calls a month from people in the military that are getting orders to deploy and have to surrender their dogs," Lyon said.

That led her and her friend to start Operation Bravo Dogs, a 501 (C)(3) nonprofit that connects members of the military with civilians to foster and care for their pets for free.

"They sacrifice so much, we just said this isn't right. This is not somebody that we want to say, 'No we can't help you,'" Lyon said.

"That should be the last thing they worry about. Is where they're going to send their dog," Kelley said.

The organization is funded purely through donations.

Lyon already has 6 families willing to foster but says they need more to make sure they don't have to turn anyone away.

"It's a very simple way that a normal, everyday average person can make a big impact."

"It takes away the stress and eases the situation a little bit more."

To find out more, visit their Facebook page. The link can be found on the side of this article.

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