DVIDS – News – Fort Campbell Veterinary Center, Office of Transportation ready to meet pet PCS needs


FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. — Planning ahead is key when making a permanent change of station, or PCS, especially when the move involves pets.

Navigating this process for the first time can be stressful for young soldiers and their families, but the Fort Campbell Veterinary Center is there to make sure their furry friends have the proper health certificates, vaccinations and microchips.

Complete health certificates
“[You should] start the health certificate process as soon as you receive orders at PCS to limit stress and pay higher prices for emergencies
veterinary care,” said Capt. Colleen Meuse, of the Fort Campbell Veterinary Center. “To obtain a health certificate from the Fort Campbell Veterinary Center, pets must be registered with the clinic and have a travel sheet submitted for review at least 45 days prior to travel date.”

Both of these documents are available at https://blanchfield.tricare.mil/Health-Services/Other and can be emailed to [email protected]

“A consultation with a health certificate is required before scheduling an appointment with a health certificate,” Meuse said. “[That’s] to ensure the pet is up to date on all health certificate requirements and documentation, and to limit last minute rushing and stress.

Soldiers and families can schedule an appointment by visiting the Fort Campbell Veterinary Center at 5289 Eighth St. or by calling 270-798-3614. Military veterinarians can approve health certificates for those traveling to the contiguous United States, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, Germany, European Union, Japan and Korea.

“All international health certificates – Hawaii, Puerto Rico and Guam inclusive – must be administered within 10 days of travel,” Meuse said. “All national health certificates can be administered within 30 days of travel if driving, [and] 10 travel days if traveling on commercial airlines.

If the Fort Campbell Veterinary Center cannot approve a health certificate for a destination, soldiers and families will need to find a civilian veteran approved by the United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. This information is available at https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/pet-travel, along with the travel requirements for each country.

Meuse said each country’s travel requirements are varied and change often, but consulting the Fort Campbell Veterinary Center and the USDA website allows soldiers and families to take the proper steps and avoid the hassle. mandatory quarantines.

The government can reimburse families for up to $550 in quarantine expenses per PCS according to the Defense Travel Management Office, but working with military veterinarians can avoid the issue entirely.

“If you go to the post vet and tell them you’re going overseas, they’re going to give you an information packet with what you need,” Chap said. (Col.) James Lester, Garrison Chaplain. “They’ll also walk you through the steps…pretty much anything you need they can do. They were so gracious in helping us get appointments for our pets, and even if things were crazy during COVID-19, they were very responsive.”

Lester and his family have PCsed with their pets five times since 2010 — in the United States and abroad — and are preparing for a sixth in Hawaii in June. He recommends arranging and budgeting for pet travel as soon as possible, as there are expenses that young soldiers and families cannot afford.

Tips for a CONUS PCS
“You’ll need to find a vet on the other end to make sure you’re keeping up with their vaccinations and records,” Lester said. “The other thing that will give you trouble is finding pet-friendly hotels on your trip. It can be difficult for a young soldier and his family if he uses PCs and has to find different hotel rooms, and it could mean that they have to drive further than they would like to avoid having to pay these additional expenses. .

Finding pet-friendly homes can be another challenge, Lester said, as many homeowners and renters have suffered property damage from animals.

“Be persistent and tenacious,” he said. “Be prepared to pay an additional fee each month for the pet deposit. When you leave, if you had a pet, clean the house and yard to make it look better than it was when you left. you left her…set the standard so they understand that pet owners take care of their pets and their property.”

Soldiers and families should also take steps to prepare their pets for a road trip if they are not comfortable with long car trips.

“Get them used to getting in the car before you go, not just going to the vet, but taking trips to other places where the dogs are in the car with you,” Lester said. “Take paper towels and cleaning supplies in case they get sick and be prepared to stop a lot more often to go to the bathroom or let your dogs exercise.”

Tips for an OCONUS PCS
Outside of the contiguous United States, or OCONUS, PCSing with pets is a more complex process as it involves working with commercial or military airlines.

The government does not cover costs associated with pet travel during a PCS, but Fort Campbell’s Personal Property and Passenger Travel office can provide assistance in making flight reservations.

If soldiers and their families are performing PCS overseas, flying for commercial purposes is possible, but often requires a location-based policy exception, said Nadine Browne, of the Passenger Travel Office. of Fort Campbell.

“Sometimes the military tells them to use Patriot Express, and as long as there’s pet space available, we can accommodate their pets being reserved,” Browne said.

Patriot Express flights travel between the United States and Europe, as well as between the United States and Korea, and offer limited space for pets on a first-come, first-served basis. The Department of Defense defines pets as cats and dogs and will charge families $125 to $375 per kennel depending on weight. Other animals will need a third party carrier to be transported.

“People don’t want to fly without their pets, but the government only pays for the ticket for the service member and their dependents,” said Carri Barnes, personal property supervisor, Personal Property Travel Office. “A lot of people see their pets as family, and it’s very difficult for them if they’re not on the same flight.”

If the soldier and family need to fly on Patriot Express but cannot reserve space for their cat or dog, they will need to make alternate arrangements for transportation of their pet.

Lester said pet owners should check their crates at the airport three to four hours before flight time and prepare for flight expenses with them. They should also be aware that most airlines will not transport animals if the temperature is too high.

“Most airlines, if your dog meets certain criteria, can go into the baggage hold and be checked in as checked baggage,” he said, adding that most cats can travel the same way. way. “You’re going to pay between $100 and $250 per pet, but if your dog is too big, you’ll have to hire a carrier to do all the coordination for your pet to transport cargo, which can cost thousands of dollars.

While PCSing with a pet can be difficult and stressful, Lester said bringing your furry friends to your next duty station is worth it.
“Be patient, save your money and be prepared,” he said. “It’s not easy, but your pets are part of your family, so don’t leave them behind.”

Date taken: 21.04.2022
Date posted: 21.04.2022 17:16
Story ID: 419002

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