PCS: Pets share move transition

| July 12, 2013 | 0 Comments
File Photo

File Photo

Sarah Pacheco
Staff Writer

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Now that all of your belongings and mementos have been safely boxed up and stowed away, the next important step before a permanent change of station (PCS) move is to make sure each and every family member is prepared, and that includes Fido or Fluffy.

According to the website Military OneSource, military families sometimes forget to include pets on their to-do list when PCSing, which can mean surrendering the animal to a shelter or relative because of poor planning.

To ensure a stress-free transition for both pets and their humans, the following are pieces of advice pulled from the Military OneSource website:

•Research the pet policies at your next duty station. Some destinations, like Hawaii, have strict regulations and quarantine requirements, which may spell a longer (and costlier) preparation process. A quick call to your sponsor, family service center or veterinarian at the next installation can help you better understand pet policies in housing, animal laws in the state or country, pet-friendly hotels and any other transport specifications.

•Double-check that all veterinarian certifications are in order. Use a military vet, if possible, as they are more familiar with the paperwork required for PCS moves. When traveling, have your signed veterinary statement at the ready to indicate your pet is healthy and has all its current vaccinations.

•Call the airline or go online to find out about any flight restrictions your pet may face. For example, some airlines impose a “pet embargo” at certain times of the year on dog breeds that have respiratory issues due to the structure of their face. Many airlines also may limit the number of pets on each flight, whether they are flying with passengers or in cargo. Find out, as soon as possible, all shipping regulations specific to your airline, including those associated with cabin temperature, weight requirements and training.

•Crate-train your pet. Long stays in a crate can spell trouble if your pet is not accustomed to being in an enclosed space for hours at a time. Introduce the crate slowly and allow a few months for your animal to adjust. Also, be sure your crate fits on the plane, is correctly labeled and has your name, your pet’s name and your destination address clearly written on it.

And, while you can never fully plan for everything during a PCS, taking the proper steps, now, to prepare your entire family for the big move will go a long way toward putting everyone, both two-legged and four-legged members, at ease.

Veterinary Treatment Facility
Book an appointment with the Schofield Barracks Veterinary Treatment Facility (936 Duck Road) to obtain a mandatory airline health certificate for travel off Oahu or for the new Wellness Package for affordable preventative care.
Plan ahead! Appointments must be made four weeks out for regular appointments and six weeks out for health certificates. Walk-ins will not be accepted.
Also, note travel to locations other than the continental U.S. (CONUS) may require more preparation. For this type of move, schedule an appointment no less than three months in advance.
The clinic is open five days a week, with extended hours every third Wednesday of the month, until 7 p.m. Call 655-5893 or 655-5889.


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