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Throughout a military member’s career, he or she may find themselves in a situation that can take a toll on a loving pet parent’s emotions — making the decision about what to do about a companion pet when they are deployed. It is a dilemma that relocating military families may face when sudden deployment orders are given with no time to make arrangements for pets.

Some of these dilemmas range from a trusted family member or friend unable to watch your companion pet or the military not covering pet relocation costs. It may be that a country does not allow a pet in or the type of military service does not give a pet parent the ability to care for pets even if they do move with them. However, there are non-profit organizations that are dedicated to helping military men, women, their families, and companion pets when deployment or new station assignments come up.

These types of organizations have similar missions to either keep military families and pet family members together by assisting financially with pet relocation or finding living arrangements with a pet foster parent while gone. With care options available, you won’t have to voluntarily surrender a beloved pet to a shelter, which could result in them being euthanized due to shelter overcrowding.

Having the peace of mind that a pet is safe and waiting for you to return home lets you focus on the job ahead. Rest easy knowing that you are able to keep your promise of responsible pet guardianship, that your dedication to protect extends far beyond serving your country and over to family and companion pets. Fantastic organizations like these four are more than ready to help.

1. Dogs on Deployment

Dogs on Deployment is a national non-profit created as an online network to connect military service members and pet boarding volunteers. They have volunteer boarders living close to nearly all major military bases in the United States and volunteers who are willing to provide boarding for your dog long-term. This non-profit promotes life-long responsible pet guardianship for military members, advocates for military pet owner rights, and provides financial assistance for pet care cost before and during deployments.

2. PACT for Animals

Foster programs through PACT for Animals are free to all military service members with programs working directly with you to find the perfect foster family. You can rest assure that PACT has a solid foster care agreement for boarding volunteers and they will keep in close contact with the foster home to make sure your companion pet is in a safe environment. So you stay a constant part of your dog’s life while you are away, foster families will provide regular updates to deployed pet parents through photos, video, and email, then you can respond!

3. Operation Military Pets (SPCA International)

The sole purpose of Operation Military Pets is to keep pets with their loved ones in the military. They do this by providing financial assistance for pet relocation costs to all branches of the military and pet relocation assistance can be for in the United States or anywhere in the world. A big part of SPCA International’s mission is to do great things globally for military and non-military animals and pets alike.

4. Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet

Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet is a military and veteran Support organization made up of volunteers from around the nation. The organization is proud to have foster care and other programs for pets available in all 50 states and to members of all branches of the military. These programs help all from active duty members with hardships like wounded warriors, military families dealing with the death of a loved one, to offering a Military Pet Assistance fund that’s set up for emergency care of foster pets when guardians cannot be reached while deployed. Also available is temporary boarding, vet care, and food for pets of homeless veterans, and the Warrior Angels Program that supports canine service for veterans diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress disorder.

Want to help military service members through organizations like these? Become a foster parent to a military pet, Donate to fund military pet relocation or long-term boarding costs, or volunteer your time on staff with various duties with a non-profit organization for military pets!

Image source: Official U.S. Navy Page / Flickr