Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Military

Who Takes Care of Fido after Military Families Evacuate from Japan?

As Home Post reported last week, the United States military is helping the families of servicemembers evacuate from Japan. The evacuation is voluntary, but that doesn't mean the decision to go hasn't prompted a lot of soul-searching, especially when the family pet is involved.

Originally when the news of the military dependent evacuation broke, rumors started to spread that families wouldn't be allowed to take their pets with them. The Wall Street Journal reported at the time:

The Stars and Stripes blog "The Rumor Doctor" attempted to clear up the confusion with a post called "Do Luggage Limitations Apply to Pets for Families Leaving Japan?" Blogger Jeff Schogol wrote that dogs and cats were allowed on board departing planes, but not other pets like fish, rodents, or birds. The limit is two pets per family, although Schogol dispelled the scuttlebutt that the weight of the animals counts towards the luggage weight restrictions the military has established for departing military families.

So that means some family pets are being left behind despite their owners' wishes. In addition, some servicemembers are choosing to keep their pets with them, rather than letting them leave Japan with their evacuating spouses and kids. Recently the Department of Defense sent out a press release from the Misawa Kennel with the goal of helping out those dogs and cats staying in Japan. The Kennel is opening its doors to these animals, providing shelter at night, and doggie-daycare service while their servicemember parents work long hours:

The Misawa Kennel also takes sick dogs and cats to the veterinarian if needed.