Updated:
Original:

To honor her son, MN mother started a pet fostering service for deployed troops

When members of the U.S. military are deployed, who takes care of their pets?
Author:

When members of the U.S. military are deployed, who takes care of their pets?

Nicole Watson of Harmony, Minnesota, wants to help answer that question. As the mother of a Marine, she took on the responsibility of caring for her son's dog, Lilly, while he was overseas for about eight months.

And after her son, Jarek Burke, was tragically killed in a car accident while stationed at Camp Lejuene in North Carolina in October – just a couple months shy of retiring from active duty – Watson knew she wanted to do something to honor his life.

With the help of Burke's best friend Brittany Saulsgiver, Watson started Jarek's Corporal Canine Fostering, a service that aims to help service members find fosters for their dogs (and other pets) during deployments.

'Live Life Hard'

The fostering service was actually something Burke and his mom had discussed before he died, Saulsgiver told GoMN.

After Watson's husband passed away last year, Watson closed herself off from the rest of the world.

"Jarek basically told her to snap out of it, I need my mom back. I can't handle seeing someone I love and care so much about be like this. So, when Jarek passed away, Nicole knew he wouldn't want her to close herself off. So, she decided that this would be a perfect way to help keep his memory alive and would be another way for her to give back to the military," Saulsgiver said.

Burke's motto was "Live Life Hard," and the two women want to keep his legacy alive.

While the foundation is still in the early stages, more than 20 volunteers have expressed interest in becoming fosters, and most of them are veterans or have children in the military. They are hoping to go nationwide, and will have a website up and running soon.

"I actually had a woman email me from Maine saying she would love to foster, which is great because that means word is getting around," Saulsgiver told GoMN.

The foundation is selling T-shirts, decals, and dog collars to raise money to help their fosters pay for pet food and vet bills. You can find those items here; or donations can be made via PayPal.

Interested in fostering a military pet? Check out the foundation's Facebook page for details.

Next Up

wikimedia commons - the beach boys 2019 - joergens.mi

Beach Boys bringing 2021 holiday tour to Minnesota

The iconic band's "Holiday Harmonies" tour stops at Treasure Island just before the new year.

pixabay - us supreme court

MN, WI attorney generals push SCOTUS to block to Texas abortion law

They say the law is in "direct contravention of nearly a half century of binding precedent."

Piper Cherokee

UND student killed in plane crash near Minnesota border

The crash happened Monday night just west of the Minnesota border.

fake airpods

Border officials seize hundreds of fake AirPods at International Falls

The AirPods were in a rail container headed for Ranier.

Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen

With Patrick Peterson injured, Vikings need to unleash the offense

Peterson's absence could have a bigger effect on the opposite side of the ball.

Cam Wiley

Gophers running back Cam Wiley announces plan to transfer

Wiley found himself buried on the depth chart.

sun country

Sun Country adds 7 new routes from MSP Airport this spring

It's also resuming four routes from the Twin Cities.

Walz, Flanagan

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz launches re-election campaign

Their campaign slogan: "One Minnesota. Moving Forward."

Related

To honor her son, MN mother started a pet fostering service for deployed troops

When members of the U.S. military are deployed, who takes care of their pets?

This MN coffee company is donating half its profits to help the troops

Your next cup of joe could help military families in America.

Animal Humane Society has a new pet hospice program for terminally ill animals

The AHS is helping terminally ill pets find comfortable homes for their remaining days.

Sales from this local country music CD will benefit military families

You can give the gift of music while supporting local military families.

Sales from this local country music CD will benefit military families

You can give the gift of music while supporting local military families.