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Surgeries Suspended For Military Family Pets As Cost-Saving Measure

Dog in military veterinary clinic.
U.S. Air Force
Dog in military veterinary clinic.

The cherished dogs and cats of military families are no longer able to get surgical procedures at military veterinary facilities, as these clinics have cut back on services to save money.

Lt. Col. Matt Takara of U.S. Army Public Health Command tells Star and Stripes virtually all on-base veterinary treatment facilities have "suspended procedures involving anesthetics" for family-owned pets.

Department of Defense-owned animals will still be able to get the surgeries they need.


Make no mistake - these clinics have always charged military families for operations on their privately-owned pets. But the clinics will still save money by suspending the procedures, at least temporarily.

Tarkara says clinics will also be raising prices on pet exams:

“While we strive to keep our prices as low as possible, we must generate enough revenue to cover our operating costs. These changes are occurring globally, but our goal is to increase access to care and provide more wellness and sick call appointments to our military families’ pets.”

Ironically, a study came out late last month that found pets helped children in military families build resiliency during numerous moves and parental deployment.

Megan Mueller, Ph.D., a developmental psychologist and research assistant professor at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, authored the study. She explained her research this way:

"We found that kids with deployed parents who had developed a deep bond with a family pet reported having better coping strategies in dealing with the stress than those without such ties to a companion animal."

Let's hope the family pet doesn't need surgery anytime soon...