The PCS-ing cat and dog: part 2

PCS-ing cat and dog part 2

By Dr. Rebecca Jackson, DVM  In the previous post about the PCS-ing cat and dog, we looked at what all pets need to successfully relocate overseas. In this one, we will look at what only some pets will need.  Some pets will need: A FAVN blood test An import form (varies by country) Flea and tick preventative applied at the time of health certification Dewormer given at the time of health certification FAVN blood test Some countries require your pet have a FAVN blood test prior to entry to check their rabies antibody levels. Now here is the tricky part: each country has different … [Read more...]

The PCS-ing cat and dog: part 1

PCS and your pet part 1

By Dr. Rebecca Jackson, DVM When a United States Armed Forces service member receives a Permanent Change of Station order, there also comes an unwritten list of “things to do prior to moving.” There is outprocessing, organizing the move, preparing the family, saying your good-byes … the list goes on and on. And, of course, don’t forget your pets!  These days, the regulations involved in moving or traveling with the family pet overseas are becoming more complex. Relocating can be incredibly stressful for both you and your pet, but don’t worry: this article and its sequel will help you … [Read more...]

The nose knows: how detector dogs work

ag sniffing beagle

It's all in the nose for detector dogs, but how they work and why they're so good at it are essential to the military, transportation and other sectors that must defend against unseen threats. Dogs, like humans, have an areas of the brain that processes all kinds of sensory input - sights, sounds, smells - but their noses are longer and more spacious, making them masters at inhaling odors. They have between 20 and 40 times more odor receptors in their snouts than people, which means that in most cases they can detect an odor at much lower concentrations than humans.  Detection dogs, … [Read more...]

Pets for Patriots 9/11 Challenge

Screen Shot 2012-09-09 at 3.49.57 PM

Pets for Patriots is laying down the gauntlet with our first 9/11 Challenge: for 2,000 people to pledge $11 a month to support our troops and the influx of post-9/11 veterans entering our charitable program. More 9/11 veterans need a four-legged buddy Mario is a three-tour Iraq war veteran. After graduating high school in the wake of September 11th, he joined the Army because, in his own words, "I definitely wanted to do something and be a part of the military." During his third tour, he nearly died and was medically retired. Lost and depressed, Mario turned to Pets for Patriots for help … [Read more...]

Anchors away for Navy couple and rescued pitbull

Wes, Vic and Bowser

It's anchors away for a Navy husband-and-wife team and their rescued pitbull, Bowser.  Wes is a public affairs officer with the Navy reserves and his wife, Victoria - who goes by Vic - a Navy nurse. Shortly after celebrating their first wedding anniversary and with the prospect of children many years down the road, the couple decided to adopt a dog because they "wanted a companion to love and to love us back."  From Texas to Virginia, with love Both Wes and Vic came from Texas, but that's about the only similarity in their nascent military careers. Wes was commissioned from the University … [Read more...]

The military working dog: America’s four-legged warrior

U.S. Air Force. Senior Airman Elizabeth Rissmiller.

The military working dog has long been part of America's fighting forces, though recent events have brought renewed public attention to these highly trained canines. This month marks the one year anniversary of SEAL Team Six’s raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan. Perhaps no single member of the elite commando team has generated more fascination than Cairo, a military working dog who accompanied the SEALs on this mission. A proud legacy of service For nearly a century, America’s military has put canines to work. During World War I, German and France trained an estimated 50,000 … [Read more...]

Teen gives all for veterans and pets

Shelter drive

One San Diego teen is taking the idea of service to heart by making life better veterans, military personnel and homeless pets in her community.  Gabi Mark joined Pets for Patriots as a youth volunteer and has since touched countless lives by reaching out to veterans and shelter animals across San Diego County. After joining our cause in the fall, Gabi has accomplished three major projects towards her goal of devoting 100 hours to charity this year. A junior at Hilltop High School in Chula Vista, leader of her local Girls' League service organization and member of the girls' basketball team, … [Read more...]

Marine fights to adopt disabled MWD and Iraq war partner

Megan and Rex

A Marine and a disabled MWD (military war dog) are in the fight of their lives: trying to spend their lives together  as friends after fighting side by side in Iraq. Now Megan Leavey and Rex have some power in their corner.  Influential New York State Senator Chuck Schumer has already written a letter to the secretary of the Air Force, which is responsible for all training and adoptions of MWDs at Lackland Air Force Base. We hope to do our part by creating more awareness of Megan's efforts to give Rex, her battle buddy and savior, the life he deserves in a loving home. Both suffered serious … [Read more...]

Is breed-specific legislation for on-base pet owners way off-base?

Pittie white and brown

Breed-specific legislation affecting military pet owners can have serious consequences for dogs targeted by these laws. Dogs wreaking havoc on a neighborhood is a real and serious issue for some communities across the country. In response, lawmakers have enacted Breed Specific Legislation (BSL), more commonly known as “breed bans,” which effectively outlaw certain types of dogs. BSL originated in the 1980s, with pit bulls as the primary target. As the result of serious and even occasionally fatal dog attacks, BSL swept the nation, infiltrating communities that felt compelled to regulate … [Read more...]

Abandonment unites airman and shelter dog

Ben and Siren

Veterans and service members who honorably adopt shelter pets through our program often speak about the empathy they have for their last-chance dog or cat. Many feel isolated, lonely and unwanted, and tell us how they can relate to the animals they ultimately save. Ben and Siren formed a strong bond through the abandonment they each experienced in their lives. Ben is a Staff Sargeant in the Air Force. Stationed at Langley Air Force Base (AFB) for six years, he works the stealth coatings for the F-22. Like many military personnel, Ben serves where the military needs him; throughout his career … [Read more...]