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DOD will reimburse pet expenses when military families move

Brian George, a staff member at BARCS Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter hands out food for the canines. (Karl Merton Ferron/The Baltimore Sun/TNS)

Air Force and military families take heed: You may not need to find a new home for the family dog or cat before moving to that next assignment.

The Department of Defense Wednesday announced a new policy to cover pet travel expenses, like pet shipping or quarantine fees, incurred by service members when they move to a new assignment.

The policy covers pet expenses during a permanent change of station (PCS), the DOD said, and will be effective as of January 1, 2024.

Military 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, the department said.

The military estimates that this new allowance may be used by an some 227,000 service members.

“Historically, service members paid the majority of out-of-pocket expenses to transport pets when assigned to a new duty station,” the department said. “This policy reduces that financial burden while recognizing the important role a pet plays in a military family’s household.”


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