Dogs on Deployment Mascot Protected by Pets Best

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Leonidas is the 2015 Military Pet of the Year and Dogs on Deployment Mascot

Military Pet of the Year and Dogs on Deployment Mascot, Leonidas, is protected by Pets Best

Military Pet of the Year and Dogs on Deployment Mascot, Leonidas.

The bond created with a dog during war is indescribable

Pets Best Insurance Services, LLC, a leading U.S. pet health insurance agency, and the nonprofit Dogs on Deployment announced together today that the 2015 Military Pet of the Year and Dogs on Deployment Mascot, Leonidas, is now protected with pet insurance from Pets Best. Dogs on Deployment is a nationwide nonprofit that connects military service members with volunteers to board their pets for free when they are deployed.

Leonidas is a 3-year-old Afghan Kuchi mixed breed, born in the mountains of Afghanistan. As a puppy, Leonidas wandered into a United States Army compound and won the heart of U.S. Army soldier, Tim Johannsen.

“The bond created with a dog during war is indescribable,” Johannsen said. “He is my best friend and honestly the way he has changed my life is impossible to put into words.”

A leading sponsor of Dogs on Deployment for two years, Pets Best hopes to bring awareness to the nonprofit’s efforts. In its third year, the nationwide Military Pet of the Year and Dogs on Deployment Mascot Competition resulted in hundreds of contestants, votes and admirable dogs receiving recognition.

Pets Best supports the mission of Dogs on Deployment: to give military members peace of mind concerning their pets during deployment or other service commitments.

The Military Pet of the Year and Dogs on Deployment Mascot receives a free one-year Pets Best pet insurance policy, among many other prizes and benefits. Past winners have received national attention to bring awareness to causes in the military and pet communities. Johannsen and Leonidas plan to use the canine’s new title to raise awareness about rescuing dogs, or “battle buddies,” from overseas, seeking to educate military service members about responsible pet ownership while supporting the Dogs on Deployment mission as a whole.

The Puppy Rescue Mission is the group that assisted in bringing Leonidas and his sister Mittens to the U.S. to be reunited with Johannsen. Stray dogs and working contract dogs are commonly found in U.S. military compounds overseas and can help service members feel a little more at home.    

“If something were to happen to Leonidas in the next year, it is a feeling of relief to know that we will have financial help,” Johannsen said of Leonidas being protected by Pets Best.

Pets Best also protected Midas, the 2014 Military Pet of the Year and Dogs on Deployment Mascot.

“Pets Best recognizes the importance of keeping service members’ beloved pets safe while their owners are away protecting our nation,” said Chris L. Middleton, president of Pets Best. “We remain committed to supporting Dogs on Deployment in its efforts to care for the pets of the brave men and women who serve in the armed forces.”

About Pets Best Insurance Services, LLC
Dr. Jack L. Stephens, founder and director of Pets Best, founded pet insurance in the U.S. in 1981 with a mission to end euthanasia when pet owners couldn’t afford veterinary treatment. Dr. Stephens went on to present the first U.S. pet insurance policy to famous television dog Lassie. Pets Best provides coverage for dogs and cats. Dr. Stephens leads the Pets Best team with his passion for quality pet care and his expert veterinary knowledge. He is always available to answer questions regarding veterinary medicine, pet health and pet insurance. The Pets Best team is a group of pet lovers who strive to deliver quality customer service and value. Visit for more information.

Pet insurance coverage offered and administered by Pets Best Insurance Services, LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company, a Delaware insurance company. Independence American Insurance Company is a member of The IHC Group, an organization of insurance carriers and marketing and administrative affiliates that has been providing life, health, disability, medical stop-loss and specialty insurance solutions to groups and individuals for over 30 years. For information on The IHC Group, visit: Additional insurance services administered by Pets Best Insurance Services, LLC are underwritten by Prime Insurance Company. Each insurer has sole financial responsibility for its own products.

Pets Best is a proud member of the North American Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA).

About Dogs on Deployment
Military members nationwide confront a multitude of problems during their careers, and the last thing they need to worry about is their pet's care during their service commitments. Dogs On Deployment is a 501(c)(3) national nonprofit that provides an online network for service members to search for volunteers who are willing to board their pets during their owner's service commitments. Dogs on Deployment promotes responsible, life-long pet ownership for military pet owners by advocating for military pet owner rights, providing educational resources and granting financial assistance for military pet owners during times of emergency. Founded by military members, for military members, Dogs on Deployment aims to provide peace of mind for service members regarding their pet's care.


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Carrie Tiemann
Pets Best Insurance
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