I have recently become aware of, and gotten involved in, one of a handful of organizations that help military families and their pets. They are spread throughout the US, and I wanted to share info about them, in the event that you too become inspired to help in any way, or just want to spread the word.
Throughout a military member’s career, he or she may find themselves in a situation that can take a toll on a loving pet parent’s emotions – making the decision about what to do for a pet when they are deployed. It is a dilemma faced when sudden deployment orders are given with no time to make arrangements for their pets. The dilemmas range from a trusted family member or friend being unable to watch your pet, or the military not covering pet relocations costs. It may be that a country does not allow a pet in, or the type of military service does not give a pet parent the ability to care for pets even if they do move with them. However, there are non-profit organizations that are dedicated to helping military men, women, their families, and companion pets when deployment or new station assignments come up.
These types of organizations have similar missions to either keep military families and pet family members together by assisting financially with pet relocation or finding living arrangements with a pet foster parent while gone. With care options available, you won’t have to voluntarily surrender a beloved pet to a shelter, which could result in euthanasia. The four fantastic organizations listed are more than ready to help.
(http://www.dogsondeployment.org) is a national non-profit created as an online network to connect military service members and pet boarding volunteers. They have volunteer boarders living close to nearly all major military bases in the US and volunteers who are willing to provide boarding for your dog long-term. They promote life-long responsible pet guardianship for military members, advocates for military pet owner rights, and provides financial assistance for pet care cost before and during deployments.
Foster programs through PACT for ANimals (http://pactforanimals.org) are free to all military service members with programs working directly with you to find the perfect foster family.They also have a foster program set up for hospitalized family members, so that their pets are fostered and cared for when they are unable to do so. They are local to the Philadelphia, NJ, and Delaware area, and I have been in direct contact with them, and they are great. You can rest assure that PACT has a solid foster care agreement for boarding volunteers and they will keep in close contact with the foster home to make sure your companion pet is in a safe environment. So you stay a constant part of your dog’s life while you are away, foster families will provide regular updates to deployed and iull pet parents through photos, video, and email, then you can respond!
The sole purpose of Operation Military Pets (http://www.spcai.org) is to keep pets with their loved ones in the military. They do this by providing financial assistance for pet relocations costs to all branches of the military and pet relocation assistance can be for in the US or anywhere in the world. A big part of SPCA International’s mission is to do great things globally for military and non-military animals and pets alike.
This is a military and veteran support organization made up of volunteers from around the nation (http://guardianangelsforsoldierspet.org). the organization si proud to have foster care and other programs for pets available in all 50 states and to members of all branches of the military. these programs help all from active duty members with hardships like wounded warriors, military families dealing with the death of a loved one, to offering a Military Pet Assistance fund that’s set up for emergency care of foster pets when guardians cannot be reached while deployed. Also available is temporary boarding, vet care, and food for pets of homeless veterans, and the Warrior Angels Program that supports canine service for veterans diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress disorder.
If you want to help military service members through organizations like these, contact them. You can become a foster parent, donate to fund pet relocation or long-term boarding costs, or volunteer your time on staff with various duties. Or, just spread the word about these great organizations. Maybe it will make a difference.