GALLOWAY, Ohio — Soldiers sacrifice everything for their country. They are called overseas for months, sometimes years, on end. Families learn to cope over time but what about their dogs? What if they don’t have a family to watch them? How will they be sure their furry family is being taken care of?
Cynthia Schmitt has volunteered her time and her home to help give these soldiers some ease while they are away.
Schmitt lives on a small farm in Franklin Country, Ohio, with her 4 rescues — three horses, a pony and a pig. She recently added two Boxers for a temporary long-term stay. Gunner and Riley belong to First Sergeant Ted Moskowite who was deployed to the Middle East.
Feeling like she wanted to do more to help her country, Schmitt discovered that there are 82,000 active duty soldiers deployed out of Fort Bragg, N.C. and no one to look after their pets. As a result, she contacted the base and began her own service, CSW Farms, to take care of these soldiers’ dogs.
“Their dog is their hero. It’s a soldier’s hero, a soldier’s best friend. It helps to know I’m allowing them to do their job a little better. And that their hero will be there for them when they get home,” explains Schmitt.
With the help of a behavioural specialist, Amber Ansley, Schmitt does everything she can to make the animals as comfortable as possible while their owners are away. First Sargeant Moskowite has monthly Facetime dates with Gunner and Riley.
Her fee is free. CSW Farms is funded solely by donations. Schmitt is hoping to expand and equip her land so she can care for 100 dogs. She is also looking for volunteers to help walk the dogs.
If you’d like to help Schmitt and CSW Farms you can visit the CSW Farms website at http://www.cswfarmsfoundation.org/.