Group helps dogs while owners are deployed - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Group helps dogs while owners are deployed

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - When our military members are sent on deployment, some don't have options to ensure their pets are taken care of while they're away. That's where a local group comes in, to serve those who serve our country.

When Derek Emter went on deployment, he knew his daughter was in good hands, she'd be heading to North Dakota with his wife for nursing school. But what about his loyal dog, Perseus?

"I Googled what to do with your dog while on deployment, and this website came up," Derek said.

Through Dogs on Deployment, that's how they met Mindy Bortness and her husband Brian.

"It's really sweet to be able to be there for them in a way that matters," Mindy said.

They took Perseus in and he hit it off with their two other dogs. The concept sounds simple, but until a few years ago there weren't many options for military members, like the founders of DOD who were actually in the same boat as Derek.

"And so they ended up finding a relative to watch them, but they thought this is probably a wide spread problem and they created Dogs on Deployment," Corynn Myers said.

That San Diego company has exploded into a nationwide charity that has volunteers in every state and has helped over 600 pets.

"It's just about derrick and his service to his family and his country. And we can play a part into that to make sure he's well supported," Brian said.

Brian and his wife say they're the lucky ones, and they hope others join in to support our troops.

"To be able to do one little small thing to help put them at ease is ridiculously rewarding, and you get to play with puppies," Mindy said.

It's not just dogs. Volunteers can watch cats, birds, even bunnies. As for how long they need to be watched, anywhere from one weekend, to one year, and even longer than that -- whatever works for them.

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