Military Members Receive DoD Pet Chits & Support when Seeking Veterinary Care
Dogs on Deployment understands that pets do a great deal to enhance and complete our lives in numerous ways. DoD aims to promote responsible, lifelong pet ownership within the military-pet community. Dogs on Deployment's military-pet foster network reunites as many military families with their pets as possible, and the Pet Chit Financial Assistance Program helps with the financial costs.
Dogs on Deployment Pet Chits have helped military members with veterinary expenses, including the costs of spaying and neutering. It’s part of our responsibility to emphasize the importance of these procedures, particularly now as the Humane Society of the United States prepares to celebrate World Spay Day on February 28, 2017. (See http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/spay_day/?referrer=https://www.google.com/ for details).
Veterinarians have determined:
- Spaying our female pets and neutering our male pets helps us to prevent further pet overpopulation. Overpopulation in shelters leads to senseless euthanasia every single day.
- Spaying females helps prevent uterine infections and breast tumors – which are malignant or cancerous in roughly 50 percent of dogs and 90 percent of cats. Spaying female pets before their first heat (when they become reproductive) will offer them the best protection from these diseases.
- Neutering our male pets prevents diseases like testicular cancer and some prostrate problems. It can also help eliminate behavioral issues like urinating to “mark,” or designate a spot.
SNAP to It
To help educate and assist military pet owners in spaying and neutering their companion animals, Dogs on Deployment has partnered in San Diego, CA with the Spay Neuter Action Project (SNAP). The efforts of Rich Setzer, DoD Coordinator in San Diego, made this possible. He takes every opportunity to publicize the program and to educate active duty personnel.
Rich Setzer had specific goals in mind when he initiated the DoD partnership with San Diego SNAP. He sought to:
- Inform the local military community about Dogs on Deployment;
- Publicize our financial assistance Pet Chit assistance program;
- Provide a way for junior enlisted service members (E-6 and below) to get their pets spayed or neutered at no cost to them; and,
- Spend the DoD Pet Chit funds in the most effective way possible.
After laying the groundwork, and having multiple discussions to work out the details, the Mil-SNAP program was rolled out in October 2016.
Rich says, “now whenever someone calls SNAP to schedule surgery, among the first questions their Intake Coordinators ask is whether the pet owner is military — and what their pay grade is. If that pet owner qualifies, SNAP staff informs them about the Mil-SNAP program, and provides them with access to a Dogs on Deployment Pet Chit application.”
Many military families who have benefited from Pet Chit assistance expressed their gratitude to SNAP, to DoD, and Rich in particular — see some of their happy Pet Chit updates in the stories that follow!
Successful Pet Chit Stories & Spay/Neuter Updates
Hatchie the Husky – Torres Family
“Hatchie came to us after he was abandoned. Siberian Huskies, as we found out, are known to be great escape artists,” said Lucy Torres, E-6, of the US Coast Guard. “Since he was already a three year old dog, Hatchie needed to be neutered right away. Through the SNAP program we found Dogs on Deployment. The procedure was easy, and the people involved at SNAP took care of Hatchie as if he was part of their own family."
“The dog was groggy for a while post-surgery, and for the following week had to wear his ‘cone of shame.’ After that though, Hatchie was able to return to his favorite activities and he continues to get to know and enjoy us, his new family. Thanks Dogs on Deployment!”
“Jager is honored to be part of your blog,” says Chelsea Atnip, wife of Daniel Atnip, E-5, of the US Coast Guard. Dogs on Deployment makes it so much easier for military families to take care of their fur babies – thank you so much for considering us!”
Jager is an awesome, seven-month-old mixed breed dog, who loves playing with his older buddy Spaz, as well as sometimes harassing the kitty. He has tons of energy and loves going for hikes. Post his neuter procedure, Jager had to wear the protective cone, but healed very well and is doing great. He can again enjoy trips to the beach, which is a favorite spot. Chelsea added, “we are so grateful to DoD and to the wonderful people at SNAP for offering such a great program for our family! Thanks again!”
Winter the Cat – Barber Family
Winter is a beautiful, female Norwegian Forest Mainecoon mix cat, who belongs to Margaret and Michael Barber, E-3, US Coast Guard. She was recently spayed through the SNAP program. “Thank you,” says Margaret Barber.
“The SNAP group was professional, extremely organized and efficient. Winter received a blue soft cone collar after surgery, and her recovery was wonderful. Watching her shaved belly fill back in only took about a week. I’ve already recommended SNAP to a few other military families in need of spay and neuter services for their pets.”
More Gratitude for Spay & Neuter Successes
Gonzalez Family: Juan Colon Gonzales, US Coast Guard, indicated that his family had two male dogs, neither of which was previously neutered. They used SNAP to neuter both their Husky, and their Pomerian, Jack, pictured here.
Tandoc Family: Jusper Tandoc, E-4, US Coast Guard and family had their dog Cujo (pictured below) neutered with SNAP.
Melendez Family: Jonathan Melendez, E-4, US Marine Corps and his family had their dog Milo (pictured below) neutered with SNAP.
Snyder Family: Lukas Snyder, E-5, US Coast Guard and wife, Haley had their dog Max (pictured below) neutered with SNAP.
REMIND YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS TO SPAY AND NEUTER!