When we use a phrase like “military family,” it refers to every member of our community. To include the furry ones. Because dogs are big, wonderful parts of so many military households. And, as with the human members of your family, the complications of life in the armed forces can make it hard to adequately care for them at all times. But rest assured, there are lots of people out there who care as much about dogs as you do. And many of those people work for some amazing non-profit dog organizations. So if you worry about keeping your pup happy and healthy during the ins-and-outs of military life, rest easy. There are some great organizations who’ll support your beloved canine pets thrive.
Dogs on Deployment
It’s always heartbreaking when you have to leave your dog at home 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 to leave loved ones behind. Fuzzy ones included. But Dogs on Deployment wants to ensure they’re looked after in the best way while you’re gone.
The organization’s primary mission is pairing vetted volunteers with military pets who need fostering while their service members are away from home. But they also tackle other issues related to caring for the dogs of military families. They provide education services, promote pet health, and do their best to provide financial support for pet-related emergencies.
PACT Military Foster Program
Another great non-profit dog organization (they assist with other pets, too) that keeps them safe when their service members are away from home base. PACT for Animals is a great organization is as, and their Military Foster Program specifically assists those pets of men and women in uniform.
When you submit your dog as one in need of fostering during your next deployment, major exercise, or stint at a schoolhouse, you’re submitting their application to an organization with a proven track record of helping animals. Both from military families and civilians.
Operation Military Pets
An initiative of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), Operation Military Pets is a truly wonderful program. It focuses, like PACT’s program, on the particulars of the frequent moves that come with military life. But, unlike foster programs for when you’re away, Operation Military Pets is all about keeping your dogs with you.
When you PCS or otherwise move on military orders, the costs of taking a dog (which can be substantial, depending on circumstances) isn’t always covered. But when the alternative is losing a part of your family, there’s no way around it. Operation Military Pets, however, raises money to pay those moving and travel costs for your pets. So wherever the military sends you, your dog can come too.
American Humane Military Initiatives
Like the SPCA, American Humane is a massive pro-pet and animal charity you’ve probably heard of. They do those “No Animals Were Harmed” certifications you see in movie and TV credits. And 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 dogs.
Much of their military related work revolves around service dogs and former military working dogs (MWDs). But those circumstances apply to many military families and their pets. And possibly to you too if, for instance, you’ve adopted a retired military dog. From providing emotional support dogs to veterans with PTSD to reuniting retired MWDs to their former handlers, they do lots of great stuff for many of the dogs in the military community.
Bringing a dog into your family and caring for it is about as rewarding a thing you can do. While making sure said pet is happy and healthy while you serve in uniform is difficult, it’s worth the effort. And these great non-profit dog organizations will make the process a little easier. That way, you can just focus on the fun parts like fetch, tummy rubs, and so on.