It was a heartwarming sight Sunday in Egg Harbor Township as a veteran returned from the Navy to finally be reunited with his dogs.

Last summer Eric Burmil joined the U.S. Navy and set off for basic training in Illinois.  His wife Caitlin, eager to join her husband, was left with the task of finding someone to take care of their two beloved dogs Zeus and Enzo.

Caitlin searched the internet for help and stumbled upon a volunteer, non-profit organization based out of Gladwynne, Pennsylvania called PACT: People, Animals, Companions, Together (PACTforAnimals.org).  The organization helps not only military personnel find foster homes for their pets while deployed or in training, but also families of sick children who may be receiving long term hospital care.

 

Eric Brumill (left), Jeanne Edwards (third from left), Kathleen Barton of PACT, Caitlin Brumil holding Leilani, Heather DeLuca

It was PACT volunteer Kathleen Barton who matched the Burmil's with Jeanne Edwards and her family in Egg Harbor Township.  The Edwards' cared for the foster pups like they were their own, and soon Zeus and Enzo became companions to the Edwards' own pets.

Edwards tells NBC40.net "We have two dogs of our own and I can't imagine ever having to give up my dogs," said Jeanne Edwards of Egg Harbor Township, NJ.

It was little Leilani, Eric and Caitlin's 3-year old daughter who seemed most thrilled to have her canine protectors coming back home.  Caitlin says she and Jeanne will be lifelong friends after this experience.

PACT provides its pet fostering services free of charge.  That is something volunteer Kathleen Barton told SoJO is crucial, since when she was searching out a place to put her dog when she got deployed, a kennel was going to charge up to $6,000.

The group is currently looking for volunteers to temporarily foster in South Jersey.  If you or someone you know may be interested in helping or wish to make a donation, visit pactforanimals.org.