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Wednesday, April 7, 2010 as of 11:14 AM ET

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Elizabeth Prann

Atlanta, GA

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A Soldier’s Dog Finds a Home

February 20, 2011 - 2:59 PM | by: Elizabeth Prann

Like most 12-year old boys, Rapheal Pennell has always wanted a puppy. And like the parents of many 12-year old boys, his parents resisted until they found Guardian Angels for Soldier?s Pets.???

“My son really came forward and said, I want to be responsible for this,” his mother, Lora Pennell said.?

Rapheal drafted and signed a contract with the puppy?s rightful owner, Britney Monroe, a servicewoman with the Army National Guard.? He promised to feed, bathe and watch after 6-month old, Cena, a red fox Labrador puppy. Two of his sisters agreed to do the same with Monroe?s other dog, Drake, a cocker spaniel.

“I’m really happy to help out a soldier because I know how lonely they must feel,” Rapheal said.

Monroe said it gives her something to look forward to when she returns next year but it also is a big relief when she is fighting abroad.? The foster family is already sending daily pictures and updates.

?I?m not stressing about my dogs because I know they?re in good hands,? Monroe said. ?I couldn?t ask for a better foster family.?

The kids haven?t had the dogs for long but they love spending time with them and they also love what they?re doing for Monroe.?

“She is going to be fighting for us and it made me want to help her because she is putting her life[on the line] for us,” said 9-year-old Mariella Pennell.

There are more than 2,500 families who are just like the Pennells, ready and willing to foster a pet but it has been tough getting the word out. Monroe said many soldiers aren?t aware of the program and face a tough decision when they get word of a deployment.

?”It made me feel nice that she letting us take care of our dogs while she is gone,? said Maria Pennell, who is only 7-years old.

For more information on the program go to www.guardianangelsforsoldierspet.org

Photo Gallery
Britney Monroe, the service woman enrolled in Guardian Angels for Soldier's Pets
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  • Britney Monroe, the service woman enrolled in Guardian Angels for Soldier's Pets
  • 6-month old Cena the puppy with her foster family
  • Drake with foster family