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Military relocation requires careful advance planning
Pets on the go
Military relocation requires careful advance planning

Posted 8/12/2010   Updated 8/12/2010 Email story   Print story


by Jonathan Hicks
81st Training Wing Public Affairs

8/12/2010 - KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss.  -- Pets are a very important of a family's daily life and relocating with them can be a major concern. When it comes to military relocation, there are several things pet owners should know.

Department of Defense regulations define pets as dogs and cats only. DOD regulations limit pet shipments to passengers in permanent change of station status only, with two pets allowed per family.

For pet safety, soft-sided or collapsible kennels aren't accepted for transportation in the cargo area of the aircraft. All kennels must provide adequate ventilation and be large enough for a pet to stand up, turn around and lie down with normal posture and body movements.

Pets must also have a current health certificate provided by a veterinarian.

Time is another key factor to avoid travel complications or separation from your pet. Miles Burton, 81st Logistic Readiness Squadron passenger travel manager, strongly suggests contacting the transportation office as soon as possible when preparing to PCS with pets.

"The sooner members talk to me about making arrangements for their pets when they PCS the better," Mr. Burton said. "I think 90 days is a good rule of thumb. That way we can reserve their pet a space and have the necessary time to overcome any obstacles that may arise.

"Because I also own pets, I can relate to how Airmen feel about theirs," he continued. "They're like a part of our family. I grew up in a military household where I had to leave behind several pets, so I try to make sure that kind of thing doesn't happen to our Airmen here."

Currently, there's a heat embargo for all pet travel on commercial flights. However, Air Mobility Command does not impose seasonal hot/cold embargoes on pet shipments. Therefore, other travel arrangements may be necessary to reach the AMC departure terminal.

"Members don't have to wait until they have orders in hand to make arrangements for their pets," according to Tech. Sgt. Jesus Gelacio, noncommissioned officer in charge of personal property. "They can still contact us to make the necessary reservations and travel plans for their pets. Because of the limited space available for pets, it's best to make reservations as soon as possible.

"Also remember there is a fee for each pet," Sergeant Gelacio added.

For more information, call the travel office, 376-8520.

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