Operation Military Pets Program Keeps Military Families Whole

Last month, SPCA International celebrated the milestone of 2,000 Operation Military Pets grants awarded! This is so exciting because each of those grants represents a family that remained whole amidst a move to their next assignment.

We hear time and time again from military families about how important this program is. They tell us the high costs of pet shipping put them in a terribly difficult situation. Many families face a bill of thousands of dollars to bring their furry family members to their next duty station. They often consider running up credit cards, but others simply can’t and have to consider rehoming their pets.

One military family moving from Hawaii to the East Coast recently considered fostering their beloved yellow Labs until they could afford thousands of dollars in shipping costs. They were moving sooner than expected and were stretched financially from the high cost of living in Hawaii.

Their Labs, Thor and Loki, aren’t related by blood, but they act just like brothers. The family adopted Thor through a rescue group when he was a year old and later rescued Loki as a pup from a family who couldn’t keep him because their baby had severe allergies.

After five years with Thor and two years with Loki, they were determined to keep the Labs with their family. This is what they told us in their application, “They are our children’s companions, tagging along with them from room to room, sleeping with them at night. They are such loving boys and we would be devastated to ever separate from them. I won’t allow that to happen. I’ll find a way.”

COVID-19 flight reductions and summer heat embargoes increased shipping costs for these two boys who already had limited flight options because of their crate sizes. Thankfully, they have now made it to their new home with their loving family.

Through Operation Military Pets, SPCA International will continue to lessen the burden on military families who already sacrifice so much for our country.  Thank you to everyone who has donated to SPCA International’s programs in support of soldiers and their pets. You can learn more about Operation Military Pets here.