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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, May 16, 2010

Program puts pets in good hands while owners are deployed

By Leslie Kawamoto

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Oreo and Elvis are participants in the Pets of Patriots program. They are pictured here with Sommer Bergen, niece of their foster mother, Schaleena Seely.

Photo by Schaleena Seeley

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Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Six-year-old Phantom is best kept indoors, as hes prone to disappearing.

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Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Sookie is a looker with intriguing eyes.

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Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Nothing can ruffle Risa.

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Since 2003, the Hawaiian Humane Society has offered a foster care program for deployed military personnel called Pets of Patriots.

Bianca Trombi, the community outreach coordinator at the Hawaiian Humane Society, has a wide network of more than 180 foster care homes. Although there is no charge to take part in this wonderful program, if the leave is longer than three months, the owner is asked to provide credit card information and approval amount with their veterinarian, just in case of emergency.

"Cats are the most fostered-out animal. Seventy-five percent of the foster homes for Pets of Patriots have cats," Trombi says.

Schaleena Seeley has been a part of the foster care program for two years and has already taken in as many as 16 pets from military families. Currently, she is caring for two adult cats named Oreo and Elvis, who love to sit on her stomach while she reads.

"I really care about animals, and it's unfortunate that service members get deployed and they're forced to get rid of their pets," Seeley says. With foster care, "at least they know their pets are being taken care of while they are serving their country."

The Hawaiian Humane Society is looking for more volunteers to help foster military pets. If you can help, please call Trombi at 356-2217.