Military personnel don't have to give up their pets when called to active duty. A little bit of planning can keep the whole family together.
It is very important to keep loved ones close during these uncertain times -- including the four-legged members of our families. The Humane Society of the United States, American Humane Association, American Society for the Protection of Animals, and National Animal Control Association urge military families to work hard to keep pets in the family and resist relinquishing these beloved pets to shelters.
If you are in the military, it's important to make prior arrangements for your pets in case you are deployed. If at all possible, arrange for family or friends to care for your pet. When leaving your pet with family or friends, it's a good idea to create a foster care agreement. Having a written agreement will help protect your pet and provide you with the security of knowing your chosen caretaker has the legal right to care for your pet in your absence.
In addition to the agreement, The HSUS has developed a checklist for military pet owners covering things to take care of when leaving their pet with family and friends. And be sure to complete a cat personality profile or a dog personality profile to help your temporary caregiver understand your pet's needs.
If you are unable to arrange care for your pet and need assistance, contact your local animal shelter or breed-placement group. In addition, if you or your pet's caregivers are having trouble affording veterinary care, food, or other supplies, please contact your local animal shelter to see if it has an assistance program.
Taking these simple steps will help ensure that your best friend is properly cared for while you're away.
If you are called for duty you'll need to make arrangements for the care of your pet. If you will be leaving your pet in the care of family and friends, be sure to: