Maxwell Child Development Center teams up with Montgomery Humane Society for Month of Military Child
Smoke embraces hugs from children at the Maxwell Child Development Center April 16, 2014. Three adoptable dogs visited the center in celebration of Month of the Military Child. (U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Staff Sgt. Natasha Stannard)
Maxwell Child Development Center teams up with Montgomery Humane Society for Month of Military Child

by Staff Sgt. Natasha Stannard
42nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

4/18/2014 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala  --  The Maxwell Child Development Center teamed up with the Montgomery Humane Society to bring shelter dogs to the center April 16.

CDC training supervisor, Diana Shonk, coordinated the event with base members who volunteer at the society. Shonk said she wanted to do something special and new for the children in recognition of Month of the Military Child.

"It's a community outreach type of thing, and we really try to do that as much as we can for the children to get to know the community," said Shonk.

The CDC raised awareness for the humane society all week by asking for monetary donations and pet-supplies. The anticipation of the puppies' arrival opened some of the children's eyes about shelter dogs, some of them didn't know about the humane society before, Shonk said.

"When the kids found out the puppies were coming they started asking how they could help, and asked their parents to bring supplies. Some of them even talked about bringing in their piggybanks," she added.

Along with donations, the event also helped the three shelter dogs, Rob, Smoke and Rosemary, get exposure for potential adoptions, which is the society's overall goal, said MHS volunteer and 42nd Force Support Squadron force development flight chief Rebecca McKenzie.

"For the dogs, it's really great to get them socialized," McKenzie said of events like this helping the dogs better acclimate to the world outside of the shelter.

She added that many different types of families adopt dogs, so exposing the animals to different environments and especially people is ideal to prepare them for any family situation.

As classes ran to the front of the CDC building to greet the adoptable dogs, the puppies exemplified their adaptability. They sat patiently, wagging their tails as six to 10 hands reached out to pet them. Children also came out in strollers and cribs to greet the furry visitors.

Daphne Collins, a teacher at the CDC said she has never seen the children this excited. She added that this event was especially important for military children as they face situations not common to most households such as parents deploying and having to move every four to six years.

She said that while the dogs aren't a replacement for their parents, they did help to bring a smile to the children's faces.

Smoke, Rob and Rosemary are still available for adoption through the Montgomery
Humane Society, and each are prepared to take on a loving home with children. To adopt, call 409-0622 or visit