Pennsylvania’s PACT for Animals Protects Military Members’ Dogs While They’re Deployed
So when I was at BlogPaws 2012 in Salt Lake City, I came across this table of information about something I think is so cool and so needed and so unique a pet charity – it’s a program that watches military members’ dogs while they’re away.
PACT for Animals is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to fostering and caring for military service members’ dogs while they are overseas or deployed.
PACT means “People/Animals = Companions Together, “and is the first-of-its-kind that I know of. PACT is a Pennsylvania non-profit organization that develops, implements and administers programs that directly benefit both companion animals and their owners.
They believe that providing knowledge and inspiring the community through unique programs, such as the Military Foster Program (and many others like the Hospital Foster Program) is an excellent way to improve the lives of companion animals and their human owners so both can live healthier (physically and psychologically) and happier lives together for their mutual benefit.
The Military Foster Program, which I love because it supports our beloved military members and their best friends, is designed to provide an alternative to the unwanted surrender of beloved pets of our deployed military service members. We do this by recruiting and qualifying volunteer fosters who are willing to open their homes to provide a loving and safe environment for these pets until they can be reunited upon their owners’ return
PACT for Animals works directly with military service members to match their companion animals with appropriate foster homes that will give them the care and love they need while their military owners are deployed. They facilitate the foster home placement via their Military Foster Agreement – a written agreement that outlines the terms of the relationship ad protects the interests of all parties involved.
During the foster term, PACT animal charity remains in close contact with the foster home to ensure the pet is in a loving and safe environment and they continue to work with the foster home caregivers to solve any issues or concerns that arise.
While the military owner is deployed, the foster family provides owners with regular updates – at least one per month – on the pet’s well-being, recent activities and care in the foster’s home by emails, texts, photographs and/or videos.
PACT’s Military Foster Program is quite distinctive in that after the pet’s owner returns home and they are reunited, the foster family can exercise the option for reasonable visitation rights with the pet. (I’m not sure how I actually feel about this point – I see it objectively from both sides of the coin and on one hand, I’d be like, “Um, this is my dog, you can’t demand to see him.” But on the other I’d be all, “Well I cared for your dog for a year so I’m a second parent to him or her so I have the right to see my foster kid…”)
PACT focuses on expanding human-companion animal bond activities by:
- Supporting deployed military personnel by providing foster care for their pets
- Supporting hospital patients by providing foster homes for their pets
- Educating children about companion animal issues
- Inspiring and informing humans about local and national companion animal issues
- Providing additional supplies for shelters through donations and collections
- Finding permanent homes through animal adoption and foster programs
PACT for Animals pet charity is always seeking additional foster homes, military member dogs and companion animals that require fostering, and donations to further their free services.
Can you offer your help to them? Can you help your military friends as they serve our country? Call 610-581-4141 or visit http://www.pactforanimals.org