HAWAII – PACOM Community
Pets Are a Lifetime Commitment
The Humane Society of the United States estimates that of the 6 million to 8 million dogs and cats taken into companion animal shelters across the country, half are euthanized for health ailments, behavior issues and for lack of space. Fortunately, in Hawaii there are several resources in place to ensure quality pet care. In addition to some of the resources described here, Oahu offers many low-cost training classes and veterinarian care for your forever military pet.
The Army and Marines employ animal control officers who enforce pet policies in base housing and help reunite lost animals. All bases have veterinarian clinics providing preventative care, and many military community housing developments like Forest City Military Communities contain dog parks, where trained, socialized animals that are not in heat can play with other animals. Please check with your military housing office to find out what pet-friendly events they may have planned and what pet policies apply, especially if there are any prohibited dog breeds.
Besides pet-friendly events, such as Army’s yearly Dog Days of Summer, troops can utilize the Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) Pet Kennel, winner of the 2005 “Spirit of the Eagle Award” for best Army MWR facility. Many military retailers are now partnering with animal nonprofit organizations.
The Hawaiian Humane Society and the Oahu Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals hold outreach events at Schofield Barracks and the Pearl Harbor Navy Exchange Garden Center Pet Stop, giving our men and woman in uniform the opportunity to not only adopt a forever cat or dog but to sign up to volunteer at the shelter and foster pets.
One organization working with our Wounded Warriors with the Marines and Army is Hawaii Fi-Do, a service dog organization. Therapy and service dogs visit the barracks regularly, providing training for the dogs and comfort for the injured service members. For more information on Hawaii Fi-Do, please call 808-638-0200.
Tripler’s Human Animal Bond Program offers patients, families and staff a unique therapy with the help of several very special pets. The program is sponsored by the American Red Cross using specially chosen dogs, cats and rabbits.
The Pet Facilitated Therapy Program uses animals to assist a therapist in helping patients who are recovering from physical, mental or social illness. Tripler’s American Red Cross sponsors the Animal Visitation Program, where volunteers bring pets to wards, clinics and waiting areas for informal visits.
All animals are screened by veterinary services and must pass strict behavioral and physical qualifications to be a part of this program. All handlers also receive special training. For more information, contact the Human Animal Bond Program, 808-433-6631.