Today is my son Reese’s 16th birthday. Happy birthday, sweetheart! As a birthday tribute I would like to talk about one of his passions, the armed services; however, I would like to turn the idea a bit and focus on military dogs.
I am sure that those being deployed or whose deployments have been extended have many things to consider. Unfortunately, one of the things those soldiers need to think about is where their beloved dog will stay while they are gone. They have so much to be worried about that this added stress seems like it could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.
Believe it or not, there are many options for a soldier to consider:
- The first and best option would be to find a family member, friend or a neighbor that could take your pet.
- Contact groups such as MilitaryPetsFOSTERProject (https://www.netpets.org/militarypet/foster.php) or OperationNobleFoster (http://www.operationnoblefoster.org/) to see if they can help with the dilemma.
- Contact your local base command for help.
Since Reese is very serious about joining the Army, I want everyone to consider what it would be like to leave your family for an extended period of time, that family including pets. Reese is very close to Quantum Leap, and I know just how much he would appreciate someone fostering his “brother.” You can consider this option to help a soldier that is serious about supporting their country. You can be that person a soldier needs!
Attached is a list of plans to take care of a military dog while its soldier is deployed:
Making a pet plan
Whether a military pet will stay with family, friends or a foster caregiver, the following steps will ensure that the pet is well cared for and reunited with its owner.
Create a written pet care agreement. The agreement should cover important issues such as what will happen to the pet if the temporary caregiver can no longer care for him, who is liable for any damage done by the pet, what will happen if the owner is unable to reclaim the pet, and what happens if the pet is injured or dies while in the temporary home.
Pet personal profile
Complete a pet profile to help the caretaker understand the pet’s particular needs. This profile should include the animal’s health history, medications, temperament, eating and sleeping habits, training and any other important information. Click here for a dog, cat or other pet profile form.
Vet and vaccinations
Ensure the pet’s vaccinations are updated and provide the caretaker with veterinary records. Leave the caregiver with contact information for the pet’s regular veterinarian.
Tag the pet with all required rabies and license tags, and make sure that all tags include the temporary caretaker’s contact information. Microchipping the animal is also strongly recommended, since microchips provide permanent identification that will always be with your pets.
Handling routine needs
Reach an agreement on how to handle expenses for food, toys, grooming, and routine and emergency care, and make arrangements to provide the necessary funds to the caregiver.
Make sure the pet is spayed or neutered so it does not have the opportunity to breed while the owner is away.
This information was obtained from the website: http://www.americanhumane.org/protecting-animals/adoption-pet-care/issues-information/fostering-military-pets/. Please make sure to visit this and other related websites for information about fostering a military dog. I know Q and all other Wheaten Terriers thank you for considering this option.
I also want to thank Nick Larson’s mother, who I think about and pray for each and every November 9th; the day my son gained life and her son gave his life for all of our freedom. Thank you!