When deploying, many soldiers feel they have no other choice but to abandon their pets or drop them off at shelters to be adopted. The Liberty County Animal Shelter has a policy not to kill the animals. Because of that, it's filling up fast and they're almost to the point where they can't take any more.
"Most people that show up here only have a day or two left, they need to get rid of the animal right then and there," said the shelter's Bea Hall.
Dealing with ever-changing deployment dates, soldiers with the Third ID are left little or no time to find an another home. So most drop their pets off knowing they'll never see them again.
"The vast majority have animals and they need to turn them in here when they're deploying cause the wives are unable to take care of the pets cause they're moving back home, or they have children," said Hall. "It's just too much for them."
And for their pets, adjusting to this kind of environment is difficult. "They're used to living in a home, so this environment is really not good for them. They really need to find a place a good home again for them."
With animal shelters like this filling up with pets faster than they can be adopted out, shelter employees say deployments put them in a serious bind. Even though they want to help soldiers out as much as possible by expanding their facilities, they say it's difficult because of budget shortfalls.
"If we could get somebody to donate the materials, basically what we need is sheet metal and screws and hinges, whatever is needed," said Hall.
If you're a soldier deploying overseas, there are other places you can put your pet. Several agencies will provide foster care while you're away. Try these links:
Other sites can be found offering assistance for purebred dogs, cats, birds and exotic animals by entering a search at any of the search engines on your internet connection.
Rout 4 Box 3066 C
Townsend, GA 31331
Reported by: Nicole Teigen, firstname.lastname@example.org