PCS and your pet

 

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  1. As soon as you have an idea where you’re PCSing, start looking for pet-friendly housing. Many shelters/rescues maintain a list of rental companies who are pet-friendly. Be sure to check the locale’s pet limits, license requirements, and to see if there is BDL (Breed Discriminatory Legislation). If your pet’s not welcome in your new home, do you really want to live there?
    “Well in advance of your departure” is KEY. It’s amazing how often people wait until the movers show up to get serious about finding a new home for a pet they cannot keep with their family. It can take MONTHS to find the right home for a pet.
    Persistence – just because a no-kill shelter or rescue doesn’t have room this week, don’t give up. Call, call, call. You’re fighting for your pet’s life.
    Call everywhere — not just one or two places. While rescues and shelters want to help your pet, and help you solve your problem, they didn’t create the situation and aren’t responsible to fix it.
    The best person to choose a new home for your pet is you. You know him or her. Get to work, network, talk to everyone you know – at school, church, work. Plaster your area with flyers with clear description and a quality color photo of your pet.
    If you do take your pet to a shelter or rescue, don’t quibble about a relinquish fee. Pay it. If there isn’t a relinquish fee, make a donation. Rescues and shelters love to help military families and their pets, but we need funds to operate.
    Don’t get a pet if you don’t have a reasonable expectation of being able to keep him/her for a lifetime. This could be in the neighborhood of 20 years. Adopting a pet should get as much consideration as getting married. It’s a lifetime commitment.
    If you want a furry companion but aren’t reasonably certain you’ll be able to provide a lifetime home, FOSTER for a shelter/rescue. You can still save lives and enjoy all the benefits of pet ownership, but you don’t have the vet bills, and when you PCS, you don’t have to worry about finding a new home for your pet.
    If you know someone who abandons their pet, or talks about doing so, file a report with animal control/law enforcement and/or notify your chain of command. Abandonment is a crime. It’s not yet punishable under UCMJ, but it should be.

  2. Thanks Pets for Patriots for this great rundown. At Hawaii Military Pets, we feel pets are a lifetime commitment and that we all take on a pet knowing that this is a HUGE responsibility, but the benefits of a furry friend are countless. We advise that people create a pet care plan, similar to a child care plan before PCS and/or deployment. They should also visit legal and make sure their will and power of attorney is updated to include their pets. Our military vets are also a wonderful resource regarding any travel restrictions a breed or state might have. Lastly, we hope more folks will ask their base leadership for simple things, like pet care courses, or pet informaion packets when deploying or PCS. We all can work together to ensure our lifetime friends go where we go:)

  3. Hi P4P,

    Wonderfully comprehensive online guide about pet parents and PCS.

    Helpful in defining the things that are involved, nice conditional statements, good resources, and what to do and where to turn if you can’t bring your pets along.

    It’s helpful to know that different countries have different requirements and restrictions.

    It’s critical to know the ins and outs in advance and you’ve provided that.

    I might add that it would be wise to create a living will for both human family members and pets so that everyone is looked after in case something should happen to a soldier.

    =^..^= Hairless Cat Girl =^..^=

  4. Kristina Laub says:

    I have three dogs and cannot imagine leaving them behind if we had to PCS overseas. My pets are just like my kids; family. I don’t know how anyone could leave them behind. Hopefully one day there will be NO WORRIES when PCSing with pets :(

  5. It is heartbreaking to think of leaving our pets behind. Unfortunately, we are in that boat. Our older Golden is not healthy enough to travel and will become a new member of our vets family. While we are immensely sad about this, we know she is going to a loving home where she will get the best care possible.
    To add insult to injury we are facing $2000+ in costs to fly our other Golden to Germany with us. The Patriot Express flights have all been full for pets his size for months and due to how Sato has to buy our tickets we cannot attach him to our tickets, and must use a pet service either through the airlines or a private one. All of which have quoted us in the ball park of $2000. Then there is a fee to get him into Germany. We know families who are able to attach their pets and are paying $400 to get their pet over to the same duty station. While that is still high, we would be grateful to pay that much. We’ve paid $500+ in the past for other overseas assignments. $2000+ is outrageous. It’s $300 more than the government is paying for me and my two children to fly to the same place. Something needs to be done about this so we can keep our pets who are family members with us. Our kids already give up enough.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] it is not always easy (just look into Hawaii’s isolation period for pets), you can arrange to take your pet almost anywhere the military sends you. There are also options for military families to put their [...]

  2. [...] If you are serving in the military and are considering re-homing your pet due to PCS orders, read our blog post about PCS and your pet. [...]

  3. [...] 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 [...]

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