How to Foster Four-Legged Friends
The Canines: Bandit and Ruger, Rottweiler and pit bull
The Crisis: In summer 2013, Michael King was set to leave for his last tour of duty in the U.S. Air Force when housing for his dogs fell through. He faced abandoning his pets at a shelter.
The Happy Ending: PACT volunteers Gin Keefer and her husband, John Melleady, took in both pups for six months. Later, when King and his fiancée visited over Thanksgiving, Keefer and Melleady offered to host the couple's wedding at their New Jersey farm. In May 2015, Bandit and Ruger (his ring bearer) followed King down the aisle.
The Canine: Luna Stars, Yorkie
The Crisis: In 2013, 3-year-old Saramarie Kohler needed a bone marrow transplant at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, so her family moved into a Ronald McDonald House nearby. The only problem: Saramarie's Yorkie couldn't stay the night.
The Happy Ending: Elizabeth Botti rallied to Saramarie's cause and fostered the young pup for three and a half months. After her treatment, Saramarie, who'd received a birthday box with a personalized quilt from Botti and her fellow retirees while in the hospital, rang Botti's doorbell herself to pick up Luna Stars.
The Canine: Prince, boxer
The Crisis: Bryan Curcic's mother was diagnosed with stage III ovarian cancer two years ago. When Curcic cared for her while she received chemotherapy, he was forced to board his boxer, Prince, who'd been at his side since Prince was 8 weeks old. But after footing one $600 bill, Curcic needed a more sustainable solution.
The Happy Ending: Carissa Fidik sheltered Prince for about six months and hosted Curcic when he visited his BFF. Curcic's mom, who's now in remission, was present for his happy reunion with Prince.
The Canine: Cabela, pit bull
The Crisis: When Rachel Cole's then fiancé, Bryce Behymer, went to work as a Black Hawk helicopter crew chief in Afghanistan, she had a difficult decision to make: desert Behymer's 6-month-old pit bull or be evicted from their apartment complex, which had recently banned the breed.
The Happy Ending: Tori and Josh Wolgin welcomed Cabela into their home, where she snuggled up with their 11-year-old daughter every night. When Behymer returned, he and Cole settled into a new—Cabela-friendly—townhouse.
Above photos: Courtesy of PACT