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The Tanzie Project: How a Deployment Overseas Led to a Lifesaving Dog Rescue in the Balkans

June 21, 2021  |  Lady Freethinker


When Katie Ward received deployment orders for Bosnia, she knew her life would change. But as a young airman, she never imagined her experience would lead her to found the Tanzie Project — a rescue for Bosnian dogs.

The Balkans are a notoriously difficult place for strays. The almost 4-year siege of Sarajevo — the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovinia — left many Bosnian families destitute and homeless, with their animals turned loose on the war-torn streets. 


Pet House by One Fur All Spreads Love to Animal Welfare Community with Donation

February 11, 2021  |  PET PRODUCT NEWS


Pet House by One Fur All is celebrating Valentine’s Day by donating 20 percent of Pet House Candles proceeds sold on its website to 13 nonprofit, no-kill rescues. The program runs now through Feb. 14.

The participating reScues are from different parts of the country, including: A Dog’s World, No Mutts Left Behind Inc., Animal Shelter Inc., The Tanzie Project, and more.

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From Bosnia, With Love: An Air Force master sergeant’s first deployment changed her life

September 05, 2018  |  VIRGINIA MAGAZINE 


The Bosnian war in the mid-1990s had left more than 100,000 people dead and 2 million displaced. While deployed as a photojournalist at a NATO camp outside Sarajevo in 2014, Katie Gar Ward (Col ’08) was overwhelmed by the masses of dogs roaming the streets.

One particular stray that hung about the camp for food and belly rubs inspired Ward to begin a nonprofit upon her return to the United States.


Local airman’s deployment sparks new purpose in rescuing homeless dogs

March 29, 2018  |  WTKR


U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Katie Gar Ward didn’t even know where Sarajevo was before her deployment. Now the Balkan city will hold a special place in her heart for helping her find purpose during her mission.

The media operations NCO in charge of the 633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs office at Joint Base Langley-Eustis was deployed to Bosnia and Herzegovina in October 2014. When she fell in love with a homeless dog roaming the Bosnian streets – on a street coincidentally named “Ward’s Way” – she knew right then her first deployment would be much different than that of her husband’s eight-month tour in Iraq in 2010.


‘Ward’s Way:’ Airman finds hope, purpose during deployment

March 23, 2018  |  U.S. AIR FORCE

JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va.  |  When U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Katie Gar Ward received her deployment orders to Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, she said she had no idea what to expect.

“I actually had to look it up on a map,” said the media operations NCO in charge of the 633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs office at Joint Base Langley-Eustis.


A Fond Farewell to Dogs on Deployment’s Winner of the 2017 Military Pet of the Year Competition, Tanzie

March 10, 2018  |  MILITARY TAILS 


Every dog has its day, and in the case of Dogs on Deployment, every MPOTY has its year! Dogs on Deployment bids a fond farewell to the 2017 Military Pet of the Year recipient, Tanzie and her proud owners, Katie Gar Ward, Technical Sergeant, United States Air Force, and husband, fellow service member, Walker Ward.

Just like each of the past MPOTY winners, Tanzie stole the hearts of the contest judges and all involved in the Dogs in Deployment military family community.  Dogs on Deployment sat down with Tanzie and her owner/mother, Katie Ward in a recent interview, where they each shared their thoughts.

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Voice of America's coverage of "pawtest" for Bosnian dogs

November 11, 2017  |  VOICE OF AMERICA

Voice of America covered the Washington, D.C. based "Peaceful Pawtest for Homeless Bosnian Dogs," hosted by yours truly, Tanzie! Hear from me and my mom!


Homeless Bosnian Dog Changes the Lives of Thousands

June 09, 2017  |  PET TREATER


This is an amazing story of a homeless dog in Bosnia that changed the lives of hundreds of people and dogs around the world. Her name is Tanzie.

Bosnia, having been in a war roughly 20 years before, had left generations of dogs that could not be cared for.


Dogs on Deployment 2017 MPOTY Winner is Tanzie!



Each year Dogs on Deployment holds a contest in search of one very special dog to serve as our mascot and be the face of the organization.


We agree that every dog is special. But some dogs, like Tanzie, uniquely embody all the characteristics we hold dear in a pet, and through their circumstances, teach us important, compelling lessons.


Tanzie began her life as a stray, known only as “Tag 384,” on the war-torn streets of Sarajevo, the capital of what is now referred to as the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.


And the winner is...Tanzie - Dogs on Deployment Military Pet of the Year

March 10, 2017  |  LAZY DOG COOKIE CO.


Tanzie stole the hearts of the voters and judges and will be the Dogs on Deployment Mascot for 2017.


Dogs on Deployment is a national non-profit which provides a network for military members to search for volunteers willing to board their pets during their service commitments.


The Lazy Dog Cookie Co. Inc. partners with Dogs on Deployment by sharing a portion of the proceeds from sales of “Operation Drool Overload” treats.


Tanzie wins Dogs on Deployment Military Pet of the Year!

March 01, 2017  |  Dogs on Deployment

Dogs on Deployment fans we are so incredibly excited to announce our 2017 Military Pet of the Year and Mascot is TANZIE!

Tanzie's story captivated you and stole the heart's of our judges. We cannot wait to see what this coming year has in store as Tanzie and her owners advocate for animal rescue.

Be sure to follow The Tanzie Project to keep up with our new mascot's adventures! Congratulations Tanzie!


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Bosnian Strays Find Santuary in the US

October 28, 2016  |  MILITARY TECHNOLOGIES


This past week, volunteers transported two stray Bosnian dogs to their new rescue in Hampton, VA.

Blue and Ice are two husky mixes from Sarajevo, Bosnia.  In October 2014, a mountain rescue service rescued the two dogs from the River Rakitnica Canyon where an unknown person abandoned them.


Have you ever heard of the River Rakitnica Canyon?

October 21, 2016  |

Have you ever heard of the River Rakitnica Canyon? Meet Blue and Ice, 3-4 year old Husky mixes.

Ice was rescued in October, 2014 with three other dogs that had just been spayed or neutered. Ice was found after being thrown into the Rakitnica Canyon River. Luckily, there was a woman passing by and heard the dogs barking. 

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Veteran Starts A Non-Profit To Help Dogs In Bosnia

August 31, 2016  | BUZZFEED

The Tanzie Project was founded by a US veteran after she was deployed to Bosnia, and saw first-hand the terrible stray dog situation there. She brought back her own stray dog and named her Tanzie.

She couldn’t forget about the faces she left behind in Bosnia, so she decided to create an animal welfare nonprofit to bring awareness to and support stray dogs in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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Hampton-based nonprofit launches shoe drive to save dogs

August 14, 2016  | DAILY PRESS

The Tanzie Project, Inc. (TTP), a 501(c)(3) public charity based in Hampton, Virginia, is conducting a shoe collection drive throughout Virginia from now until Sept. 25, 2016, to raise funds for stray dogs in Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

Tanzie is a street dog rescued from Sarajevo, and now lives in Hampton. She is on a mission to raise awareness and help save Bosnia's street dogs. 

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