Military members and families are always aware that the next deployment could come at any time and do their best to be prepared. Sometimes though, you get caught in a situation where the family pet(s) arrangements fall through and you are left scrambling to figure out how to ensure this important member of the family is properly cared for during a deployment. ¬†Family members or friends are the best starting place, but a foster home may be a viable alternative.
First and foremost, get your pet seen by your veterinarian for a check-up, vaccinations and a microchip. ¬†Discuss your upcoming deployment with your vet, so that they are aware there may be someone else bringing in your pet and any “worst case” scenarios. Consider providing the vet with a deposit to cover any small health issues that may arise in your absence or to provide for prescriptions that can be refunded to you upon your return. Lastly, be sure to get copies of all medical records and vaccinations to provide to the person watching your pet for you.
Choosing someone to take care of your pet can be difficult, but rest assured there are ways to find the perfect match. You want to ask people that you know love your animal(s) as much as you do and who are familiar with your pet, their habits, needs and schedule. ¬†The Humane Society has created a Pet Personality Profile you can complete that will help ensure you provide as much information as possible to your pet’s caregiver while you are gone. ¬†Dog Profile ¬† Cat Profile¬† Be sure to complete this profile for each animal and review it with the caregiver in advance so that they have time to ask questions and clarify information.
A foster care agreement is your caregivers “POA” for your pet. This form can be used to protect your pet and allows the caregiver to seek medical attention as needed. ¬†This sample form can be used to create an agreement between you and your pet’s caregiver.
Provide a collar and tag with the caregiver’s information for your pet as well as all tags required by the city/county the pet will be fostered in.
Leave money for food, treats, toys or consider setting up an auto delivery of such items to the caregiver on a regular basis that is billed directly to you.
Ensure your pet is spayed or neutered prior to deployment to make things easier on the caregiver.
If you are unable to find a friend or family member willing to care for your pet while you are deployed, there are many organizations willing to help secure a foster for your pet. SargesList does not advise listing your pet for sale or foster on our site or any other similar site for a deployment situation, rather we suggest looking into the following:
Dogs On Deployment is a 501(c)(3) national non-profit which provides an online network for service members to search for volunteers who are willing to board their pets during their owner’s service commitments.
Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet is a national all-volunteer 501(c)3 Military and Veteran Support Organization assisting active duty service members, wounded warriors, veterans, and their beloved companion animals or assistance service canines through various assistance programs.
Lastly, contact your local Pet Welfare, Animal Shelter or your vet to assist with a local foster.