Reports Reveal Military Families Go Into Debt Just to Keep Their Pets

Angela Vuckovic
by Angela Vuckovic
Drazen Zigic/Shutterstock

Life of a military family is not without its challenges – but sometimes, even when you think you know what to expect, something entirely unplanned tends to creep up on you. In this case, it’s the actual cost of moving around when you’re in active service. You see, when the military needs to transport you to a new base (which can be anywhere in the world, really), they might be paying for the costs of transportation for the human family members, but they certainly don’t do it for the four-legged companions. Of course, anyone who has a pet knows that they’re as much part of the family as any other member, so this leaves service members forced to shell out thousands of dollars out of their own pocket to be able to take their pet with them when they move. Needless to say, this puts many military families at risk of going into debt or worse, losing their pets because they are unable to afford to keep them when they move.

Unfortunately, it only gets worse from there. With the unsteadiness of the housing market and the rising costs of living, Veterans United says that “approximately 36,000 active members of the military have recently requested financial help due to large debt threatening to annul their clearances”. What’s more, currently, due to the pandemic, both military and commercial flights have reduced capacity for pet transport, which makes it particularly difficult for military families stationed overseas to be able to board their pets with them – and even if they are among the lucky ones that manage to snag one of the few available spots, they are left with a hefty bill to pay as the military doesn’t reimburse any amount of transportation costs for pets. Sadly, this is why there are more and more cases of pets being re-homed or surrendered to shelters around military bases.

This is why Veterans United has started a petition to put this terrible situation to an end – no one should be faced with a choice of either going into massive debt or leaving a family member behind. The organization is asking the Department of Defense to cover all transportation costs for military families and their pets as they move to new duty stations (which is something they should already be doing, in all honesty). If you want to support this cause, you can follow this link to sign the petition – hopefully, it will make a much-needed difference.

Angela Vuckovic
Angela Vuckovic

A proud mama to seven dogs and ten cats, Angela spends her days writing for her fellow pet parents and pampering her furballs, all of whom are rescues. When she's not gushing over her adorable cats or playing with her dogs, she can be found curled up with a good fantasy book.

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