Frequent moves are one of the biggest challenges facing military families. Aside from having to adapt to a new location, moving can also cost hundreds of dollars extra if they have a family pet. In some cases, they cannot take their four-legged family member with them. In an effort to help and prevent more pet admission to shelters, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to All Animals (SPCA) launched Operation Military Pets to make sure families do not have to be separated from their animals.
Moving pets can cause a significant financial burden, and the costs are not covered by the Department of Defense. Operation Military Pets helps fill this void by offering financial assistance to members in all five branches whether they are moving within the United States or to an international destination, Military.com reports.
The program has already been a significant success, according to the SPCA. Among those the program has helped is Shawn Flint, an Iraq War veteran who required assistance for moving his dog Heidi. He rescued her while serving in Iraq, and the program helped bring her back to the United States. Now, the two have been together for more than three years.
Operation Military Pets is certainly not the only program dedicated to helping servicemembers balance the care of their cats and dogs with the stress of military service. Another program, known as Dogs on Deployment, matches soldiers up with volunteers who will take care of their pets while they're deployed.