ARIZONA NEWS

Military member reunited with cat after 7-month deployment

May 26, 2024, 7:15 AM

Project Active Duty: AHS program helps service members, pets...

The Arizona Humane Society supports service members through Project Active Duty. (Arizona Humane Society photos)

(Arizona Humane Society photos)

PHOENIX — Know a member of the military who worries about their furry friend while they’re serving the country? Project Active Duty may be able to help.

This program from the Arizona Humane Society takes care of service members’ animals. AHS started the program in response to the 9/11 attacks to give back to men and women serving the country.

One of the most recent animals taken care of through the program is Radar, a 3-year-old domestic shorthair cat.

Radar belongs to Byron Gibson, a member of the armed forces. However, since Gibson’s family lives outside of Arizona, he didn’t have anyone to take care of his beloved pet.

He left Radar in the care of AHS, which stepped in to provide peace of mind and give Gibson comfort knowing his cat would be waiting for him upon his return.

Gibson was away from his cat for seven-month deployment. The two reunited in April, according to a Friday announcement from AHS.

How does Project Active Duty help animal lovers in Arizona?

The purpose of the program is to support service members who worry about their pets’ well-being while they’re away.

It’s part of the larger Project Home Away from Home program, which helps all sorts of pet owners — not just servicemembers.

Through the program, pet owners who are in a critical time of need, which can range from housing instability to domestic violence, can send their pets to AHS.

The program will then connect the pets with people in its foster home network. Those foster parents will bring the pets into their homes and provide care while the owners are dealing with their crises.

However, AHS needs more foster volunteers, according to the Friday announcement. It encouraged the public to temporarily open their homes to animals in need.

Those who want to become an AHS foster can apply online.

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Military member reunited with cat after 7-month deployment