$1 million to help military families keep their pets

By Meredith Ayan, Executive Director

I am so excited to share our recent accomplishment of surpassing $1 million in support for military families and their pets. The overwhelming feeling of this milestone is gratitude. Gratitude to all the people who support SPCA International through donations and advocacy, gratitude to our amazing staff team, and gratitude to our military members who sacrifice so much for the rest of us.

SPCA International’s Operation Military Pets program began in 2013 in response to the overwhelming number of animals surrendered near U.S. military bases. Despite wanting to keep their pets, many military families simply can’t afford the thousands of dollars it takes to transport pets to new duty stations.  

That $1 million breaks down like this:

1,808 animals at risk of surrender stayed with their families

1,405 grants to relocate pets for military families

1,473 dogs

324 cats

5 horses

5 bunnies

1 bird

We have helped relocate these pets to 20 different countries, across 6 continents

Thank you for your support of pets and military families through SPCA International. I am beyond proud that we have been able to make such a profound impact on the lives of so many animals at risk of surrender. I know it seems like a minor addition to a moving checklist, but military families are often relocated to far-flung locations with limited transportation, complicated laws and expensive requirements. We’ve seen bills of over $10,000 to transport just one or two pets from places like Guam, Japan and England. 

Through Operation Military Pets we are able to help with transportation costs associated with Permanent Change of Station orders. Grants are given based on the costs of transportation only, while military families are responsible for vaccines, health certificates, crates and any care required during quarantine. Families often drive their pets hundreds of miles to get them on their flight, and these families along with their furry or feathered friends will be forever grateful to you for your support.