It was a heartwarming reunion months in the making for a soldier and his one-year-old dog, thanks to the help of the Arizona Humane Society.

Army Sgt. Brayden Powell was deployed overseas to Europe last October. Powells original plans to care for his American pit bull terrier, Tillman, fell through, and the serviceman worried he might need to give up his beloved companion. However, Powell learned of the Arizona Humane Societys Project Active Duty program and turned to them for help. The program lets members of the military place their pets in foster homes through AHS for the length of their deployment. AHS helped Powell find a foster home for Tillman, where a family cared for him for the past ten months.

It was nice knowing that he was with a family with kids, around other people; that way, hes getting that one-on-one time, but at the same time, around a lot of people too, said Powell. He was getting spoiled, so that was perfect for him and for me, and Im sure it was good for the kids too.

In August, Powell and Tillman reunited once he returned from his deployment, where Tillman, overjoyed to see his owner, greeted him with lots of licks and love. Powell says hes looking forward to enjoying life again with his best friend. Thats my shotgun rider, so, just driving around, going to the lake, hanging out with Tillman.

The Project Active Duty program began in response to the 9/11 attack and serves as a way to give back to those who serve our country. The program allows service members leaving for deployment to leave their pets with AHS, giving them peace of mind knowing that their furry friends will be waiting for them when they return. The animals are placed with Foster Heros, who provide a temporary safe haven for the pets whose owners are in a critical time of need.

For more information on becoming a Foster Hero for a pet, visit: