The military community is made up of all kinds of people. Plus a fair amount of animals. If you’re reading this, chances are your military family includes a dog or two. From big woofers to little yippers, the canines of military families are always there when their humans need a fuzzy cuddle, a good excuse for a walk, or just a whole lot of unconditional affection. While there’s certainly no downside to owning a dog, doing so while in the military comes with a particular challenge: what to do with a dog when you’re deployed? Luckily, there are some great options and programs out there that foster military dogs during deployment.
4 Military Pet Fostering Programs
It’s always heartbreaking when you have to leave your loved ones behind due to the needs of the service. Whether you’re off in the field for a month, spending a few weeks at a training course, or deploying to the other side of the world, it’s tough. Fuzzy ones included. But that pain can be eased by knowing your dog will be cared for by dedicated animal lovers.
Of course, if you have a spouse, friends, or other family members willing and able to care for your pup while you’re gone, then this may be the best option for you. But for those who require or prefer a company with a structured program to foster your pet while you’re deployed, we’ve compiled 4 of the best options who can help you.
1. PACT Military Foster Program
Phone: 1 (610) 581-4141
Mailing Address: PO Box 590, Gladwyne, PA 19035
People + Animals = Companions Together (or PACT) has a Military Foster Program that’s a particularly great resource for military personnel with pets. They screen and match potential fosterers with service members and their pets in need of care. They also facilitate consistent and regular contact, from videos to Facebook messages, between the pets, owners, and temporary caretakers for however long the separation lasts. When you register your dog as one in need of fostering during your next deployment, major exercise, or stint at a schoolhouse, you’re submitting to an organization with a proven track record of helping animals.
2. Dogs on Deployment
Phone: 1 (619) 800-3631
Email: contact form
Mailing Address: 970 W Valley Pkwy Box 667, Escondido, CA 92025
Founded by a dual-military husband and wife, Dogs on Deployment is run by folks who know firsthand the difficulty of leaving a pet behind when the military sends you away. A foster and military pet advocacy program set up along similar lines to PACT, this organization’s primary mission is pairing vetted volunteers with military pets who need fostering while their service members are away from home. They also provide education services, promote pet health, and do their best to provide financial support for families experiencing pet-related emergencies. And don’t let the name fool you, they cater to cats and canines alike.
3. Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pets
Phone: 1 (254) 248-1818
Mailing Address: 402 Barton Lane, Gatesville, TX 76528
Another great organization aimed at helping all fuzzy and fluffy family members in the military community. Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pets runs a widespread Pet Foster Home program across all 50 states and every branch of service. If you’re headed out on a combat, peacekeeping, or humanitarian deployment, these wonderful people and their approved foster homes will keep a loving eye on your pet while you do your duty.
4. American Humane Military Initiatives
Phone: 1 (800) 227-4645
Mailing Address: 1400 16th Street NW, Suite 360, Washington, DC 20036
American Humane is one of the biggest and most widespread animal advocacy groups in the world. And the information they provide on Fostering Military Pets is just one of several military initiatives they run. They don’t run their own in-house fostering program, but they offer up great advice and pointers on how to do it and do it right. Their military pet initiatives and programs date back to the First World War. And in the hundred-years-plus since then, they’ve done plenty for military families and their dogs.
There are, of course, a number of other great pet fostering programs and initiatives in the world. But these four are the ones specifically aimed at assisting the members of the military community and their dogs. Whether you need someone to lend a hand while you’re on TDY for a month or a loving family to watch your pup while you’re overseas for a full deployment, these organizations are here for you. And, perhaps even more importantly, they’re here for your beloved good fluffy boys and girls.
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