DOD to reimburse for PCS pet expenses

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Department of Defense and Army Emergency Relief | June 21, 2023

The Department of Defense has approved a new policy to cover pet travel expenses, like pet shipping or quarantine fees, incurred by service members during Permanent Change of Station moves.

As of Jan. 1, 2024, military service 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 services estimate that this new allowance may be used by an estimated 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. This policy reduces that financial burden while recognizing the important role a pet plays in a military Family’s household.

Army Emergency Relief — the U.S. Army’s official nonprofit — has offered the Pet Transportation Assistance program since mid-2021 in an effort to reduce the financial burden on Soldiers and Families during PCSes. The following are eligible for zero-interest loans of up to $5,500 (or grants for VA-approved service dogs):

  • Soldiers on Active Duty and their Families
  • Members of the Reserve Component of the Army (National Guard and Army Reserve under Title 10 S.C) on Active Guard and Reserve tours
  • Members of the Reserve Component of the Army (National Guard and Army Reserve) activated with PCS Entitlements (i.e. USASMA or the War College)

Like most AER assistance requests, pet transportation assistance is processed by a Soldier’s nearest AER office.

RELATED NEWS: Here are the rules to get reimbursed for shipping a pet in 2024