How to Help a Service Member this Veteran’s Day

Have you heard of the local organization Wags 4 Warriors? The group helps veterans with PTSD get a service dog at no cost to them. The non-profit, based in Brecksville, was co-founded by a veteran, Frank DeLorenzo (OIF Veteran) and Jen DeLorenzo to help service members who have come home and are dealing with some trauma from their combat experience.

Wags 4 Warriors works with local rescue groups to find appropriate dogs for the veterans and then pays for all of the training and support for the dog to become a part of the veteran’s family.

There are a few ways you can help this organization:

1. Organize a fundraiser – Some ideas they give on their website are:  Dress down days at work or school (pay a fee or make a donation to dress down), Garage sales, tag sales, bake sales etc., Gift basket raffles, Bike-a-thons, golf tournaments, wine tastings

2. Donate – You can make a monetary donation, or donate leashes, collars, bones, crates, treats, gentle leaders and other dog supplies. To donate, visit:

Another great organization helping current service members is Dogs on Deployment. If you’ve ever considered fostering, but are worried you’ll get too attached to the dog, you might want to consider looking into this organization.

Dogs on Deployment ( is an online network that finds foster homes for military personnel while they are deployed. Service members can go to the site to search for volunteers who are willing to board their pets while they are away.


Three Ways to Help:

1. Board

Go to the site and create an account. You can select what you want to do. If you want to be a foster for a service member, choose the board option. Once you create your account, you can connect with service members and make boarding arrangements. As a boarder, you have the option to choose the amount of time you want to board, whether it’s less than 1 month, 1-3 months, 4-6 months, 7-12 months or greater than 12 months. The site says a typical deployment can last 6-12 months, but they do occasionally have military members who need short term boarding. Read more FAQs about boarding here:

2. Volunteer

Dogs on Deployment is always looking for volunteers to help out with local events and spread the word about the organization. I don’t see that any upcoming events in our area (Looks like the strongest presence for this group is in the south and on the west coast – so share with dog lovers you know in those areas!)

3. Donate

Beyond connecting military service members to people who can foster their dogs, Dogs on Deployment also provides financial assistance to military members and their families. According to, Dogs on Deployment helps over 700 military-owned pets per year. You can donate online here:

You can also buy a cute bandanna or dog treats to support the cause:

And because you don’t hear it enough, I am sure – thank you to all who have served!

Want to volunteer with dogs this year?

One thing I always think about at the start of the year is volunteering more. As a dog lover, of course my first thought is getting involved with a local rescue group. If you have been thinking about doing this, a few area groups are holding orientations in the  next week so you can find out more information about getting involved.

The Berea Animal Rescue Fund will hold its volunteer orientation on Jan. 14 at 7 p.m. at the Strongsville Library. ARF will also host another one Feb. 15 at the Berea Library. To find out more visit:

Voices in the Dark will hold their volunteer orientation on Jan. 10 starting at 9:30 a.m. at the Cuyahoga County Public Library. More info can be found here:

The Cleveland APL will also be hosting a volunteer orientation soon. Keep an eye on their Facebook page to find out when:

Photo courtesy of the Cleveland APL web site.
Photo courtesy of the Cleveland APL web site.

The Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter will hold a volunteer information session on Jan. 17 at 2 p.m. at the shelter. For more info, visit:

This is just a short list of some upcoming orientations. Contact your local rescue group to find out how you can volunteer!