Petition to Standardize Military Pet Policies

The problem:

As the military has transitioned to privatized housing, there is little to no consistency across the services or by duty station regarding housing pet policies, specifically numerical limits and breed. These policies need to be consistent to prevent service members from having to relinquish their animals when moving - animals they consider members of the family and that contribute positively to their morale and family life. With so much uncertainly in military life because of constant moves, deployments and potentially dangerous working conditions, pets are a stabilizing component for helping families in stressful times. Some service members are required to live in government housing and, as more troops operate in a joint environment, the policy should account for these realities.

The solution:

Military-pet advocacy groups have created a to help gain support and awareness of this issue. The most effective solution is to develop a standardized, consistent military policy for all pet owners, regardless of breed. The military would instead focus on strong enforcement of general dangerous dog policies and a robust pet education program to ensure troop’s safety and quality of life. This is a more effective and efficient solution to protecting military personnel.  Additionally, we ask for a task force to study the effectiveness of military housing breed bans and whether these bans have made troops safer.

We propose the following recommendations to be taken into consideration when developing a consistent pet policy:

  • Require all pets to be registered with the base veterinarian, be micrchipped, up to date on vaccinations and have rabies licensing
  • Create a breed-neutral zero tolorance policy for any dangerous dog
  • Adjust private contracts with housing partners for consistancy and breed neutrality
  • Require owners to meet city/country pet standards
  • Create a consistent number of pets allowed per household. Pet limitations might be based on house square footage, and differentiate between cat, dog, avian or aquarium limitations
  • Remove weight limitations. Large breed dog owners should not be punished if their dog is a well-behaved family pet
  • Observe and enforce leash and anti-tethering laws
  • Promote proper pet socialization by including a leash-free dog park in the base neighborhoods

We are confident that if the military leads on this issue, others will follow.

Battle Buddies

Its takes a fighting team to raise awareness for this issue and fight for success. The following organizations have shown their support in our effort to Standardize Military Pet Policies.

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Dogs on Deployment promotes responsible pet-ownership and the military-pet community by providing an online resource for military members to search for volunteers who are willing to board their pets while they're on deployment. Read More
I was grateful to find DoD and a way to support our military families. We boarded Sammy and Biscuit from May through December 2012 in Edinburg, TX...."

Lynn and Jerry Fischer (Edinburg, TX)

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