Whether it’s your first change of duty station or your tenth, there’s a lot that comes with such a big relocation and it’s no surprise that animal shipping adds another level of stress.
Military families are reported as paying anywhere from $3,000 to $7,000 out of pocket to move their pets.
Military flights have limited pet spots, not to mention strict weight limits forcing families to hire pet transportation services to handle their four-legged babies’ relocation.
Pet travel costs have increased substantially in recent years and this has caused a tremendous financial burden on military families. Until now, the Defense Department has not offered any assistance to families relocating their pets.
Luckily, service members have some relief given the recent Senate approval of the new 4,000-page 2023 defense spending package.
For the first time ever there will now be the possibility of reimbursement of up to $2,000 for a move to or from the continental United States and $550 within the United States.
Liz Hensel, the founder of Leave No Paws Behind USA has had one mission in mind and fought hard since 2018 to change policies to include relocation costs for military family pets. After receiving orders from the USA to Japan, she discovered just how outrageous pet shipping costs had become and knew there needed to be a change.
It’s thanks to this non-profit organization that advocates and lobbies to include pet transportation fees in the Armed Forces Appropriation Budget that there has been a change in 2023.
“I knew that wasn’t right,” she said. “My husband is deployed right now and per usual, our pets are what is keeping” the family grounded. “They’re such an important part of our military family.” — Liz Hensel (founder of Leave No Paws Behind USA)
Serving our country and receiving PCS orders to move overseas should not cause families to have to leave their fur babies behind.
“To some who cannot conceive, their pets become their children. To many, a dog or a cat, is their first child, having spent as many as 15 years together. These pets are part of the military family and should be included in the budget when a military family moves overseas.” — Liz Hensel
There has been much progress on this push for change as the U.S. Department of Defense passed a new policy this summer reimbursing some fees associated with pet relocation for military service members.
“As of January 1, 2024, military Service members going through a PCS within the continental United States can be reimbursed up to $550 for one household pet, either cat or dog, and up to $2,000 for moves to or from a location outside the continental United States to cover costs related to the transportation of a pet.”
This upcoming change is a long-awaited relief for countless service members who, in the past, bore the burden of covering these expenses.
We take immense pride in our commitment to supporting the United States military and their families. As a token of our appreciation, we are pleased to extend exclusive military discounts!
Allow us to assist you with every aspect of your pet’s relocation during your military journey by contacting us today!