Tell the Military To Cover Pet Transportation Costs

9,305 signatures toward our 30,000 Goal

31.02% Complete

Sponsor: The Veterans Site

Our service members have made great sacrifices for our freedom. They should not have to face mountains of debt to keep their families together.


Each year military families go into debt just to keep their pets.

The military sends soldiers to bases all over the world, and covers the cost of their transportation. But families can face thousands of dollars of transportation costs when pets are involved1. This puts military families at risk of not being able to afford to keep their pets.

Approximately 36,000 active members of the military have recently requested financial help due to large debt threatening to annul their clearances2.

Unsteadiness of the current U.S. housing market makes it even harder for service members to sell their homes on short notice when they're asked to move. As a result, they have to pay mortgages on both their old and new homes in order to maintain good credit, which places an added burden on their financial lives3.

Major airlines like United have temporarily suspended their pet shipping programs, which has caused stress for military pet owners, especially those stationed in Guam, as United Airlines was the only U.S. commercial airline flying pets to and from the remote island4.

The airline again now offers U.S. military personnel making a permanent change of station (PCS) move, State Department Foreign Service Personnel (FSP), and their spouses pet transport through United PetSafe, but they must meet all United's requirements, and space is lifited.

“Due to COVID-19, commercial and military flights have reduced capacity for transporting pets, causing a significant financial burden on our sailors, Marines and families serving overseas,” said retired Rear Adm. Dawn Cutler, executive vice president of that relief society, in an announcement. “Pets are treasured members of our families, and now sea service families won’t have to go into debt or make the difficult decision of leaving their pets behind due to expensive travel costs.”

Currently, the military does not pay for or reimburse any costs associated with the price of PCSing with pets. This sometimes leads to high numbers of pets being re-homed or surrendered around military bases1.

While the military does have a lower-cost PCS option for shipping pets with their families on government-contracted Patriot Express flights going to and from overseas, it’s space available only for pets, and first come, first served5. Otherwise, depending on the size of your pet and the time of year, cargo space may be limited, and tickets may be expensive. Many families report paying over $1,000 to ship their pet as cargo6.

Our service members have made great sacrifices for our freedom. They should not have to face mountains of debt to keep their families together.

Sign the petition and ask the Department of Defense to cover all transportation costs for military families and their pets as they move to new duty stations.

More on this issue:

  1. Lizann Lightfoot, PCSgrades (7 April 2022), "5 Considerations When PCSing with Pets."
  2. Samantha Reeves (2 March 2016), "5 Reasons Members of the Military Go Into Debt."
  3. Natalie Issa, Credit.com (12 March 2020), "How Can I Take Control of My Finances? 6 Easy Steps to Follow."
  4. Jen McDonald, Militarybyowner.com"6 Resources For A Military Move With Pets."
  5. Karen Jowers, Military Times (14 May 2021), "It’s costing more for troops moving pets overseas. Here’s some help."
  6. "What Are The Costs Involved In Transporting A Pet?"
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The Petition:

To the Secretary of Defense,

While the Department of Defense does an adequate job covering the costs of transporting service members during a permanent change of station (PCS) move, these military families are forced to pay upwards of thousands of dollars to move their pets.

Transporting pets is a costly undertaking, and sadly one that drives many service members into debt.

Unsteadiness of the current U.S. housing market makes it even harder for service members to sell their homes on short notice when they're asked to move. As a result, they have to pay mortgages on both their old and new homes in order to maintain good credit, which places an added burden on their financial lives.

Today, approximately 36,000 active members of the military have recently requested financial help due to large debt threatening to annul their clearances.

Our service members have made great sacrifices for our freedom. They should not have to face mountains of debt to keep their families together.

I implore you to help keep families together by covering all transportation costs for military families and their pets as they move to new duty stations.

Sincerely,

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Signatures: