Frequently Asked Questions
PACT places the beloved pets military families in need with loving and safe foster homes who offer temporary, free boarding until the owner can be reunited with their companion animals. Our work gives peace of mind to military families and saves beloved companion animals from being lost, abused, or euthanized.
PACT requires a detailed application to be filled out by all Foster Families and Pet Owners. After a Foster Family has applied to be a foster, an in-person home check is completed, where a PACT Home Visit Volunteer checks the home for animal appropriateness, safety, and discusses the Foster Family’s experience and expectations. Remote home checks require a PACT Representative to speak with two animal-welfare references of the Foster, who the Foster has known for at least one year, and are carried out when the Foster lives over 60 minutes from a Home Visit Volunteer.
When a Foster Pet is submitted that fits the requirements for a certain Foster Family, PACT contacts the home, and if the Foster Family is able and willing to take the Pet for the entire term, PACT facilitates the initial meeting, foster, and reunion. PACT is always in contact with the Foster Families and supports them where necessary with animal transport, training, pet supplies, or veterinary help, so that the Pet Owner knows they will return to find their pet has been cared for as they would have themselves. PACT relies on volunteers and donations to fulfill its mission of caring for the beloved pets of our military families.
If you are interested in volunteering, THANK YOU! It is only due to the support of people like you that PACT is able to give peace of mind and hope to our military service members and critically ill by giving loving, in-home foster care to their pets until the owners can return. We always need more Foster Families, as well as people who can spread the word by flyering/outreach, pet care providers that can donate their time, and more! You can find out more about volunteering here.
Foster Family FAQs
All Foster Families must submit a Foster Home Application from our website, available here. Foster Families need to have some previous experience with the animals they are applying to foster, and all people in the household must want to foster an animal. Homes need to be safe and appropriate for the type of animal to be fostered, and pets should be kept inside most of the time. All Foster Homes must complete the 3-step Foster Home Approval Process which includes the Application, Veterinarian Check, and Home Check.
- PACT will contact your veterinarian to verify that your pet(s) is up to date on shots and spayed/neutered.
- Make sure you let your veterinarian and give them permission for them to speak with PACT.
- If you have more than one vet, or a new vet, please provide us with both veterinarians’ information.
- If your pet has passed away, please provide us with your past pet’s name and the veterinarian’s information.
- Please let us know if your pet is under a different last name or under a partner’s or parent’s name.
- Core vaccines for dogs: Rabies, DAP; Canine Distemper Virus (CFV), Canine Adenovirus-2 (CAV-2) Canine Parvovirus (CPV or parvo).
- Core vaccines for cats: Rabies, Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (FVR), Feline Panleukopenia (FP), Feline Calicivirus.
- All kittens should have received Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV)
Yes, PACT requires all pets to be spayed or neutered, unless there is a documented medical reason why the pet is not altered. Some examples are heart conditions, too young or too old.
- PACT wants to ensure that a foster pet is being placed into a safe and secure home. In most cases, a home visit will be virtual. We just want to make sure that the animals will be safe, loved, and well taken care of in their foster homes.
- When a PACT conducts a home visit, we are not looking to judge your decorating skills, or really the cleanliness of your house. Although if the house is trashed, or really dirty, it’s not really a safe house for a new animal.
- We will look for things like holes in fences, fences that are too low, or other issues that may make them easy for the new animal to escape. Windows without latches or screens that may allow escape.
- Exposed wires or debris and trash in the animal’s possible new environment that may pose a safety hazard.
- House plants that are poisonous to animals that aren’t out of reach.
- We also like to see where the animal will be kept, where other animals in the household are kept, and where exercised.
You will be contacted by a member of the PACT team to sign up for a home visit. You can pick a time that is convenient for you.
The Virtual Home visits can be conducted via Zoom, Facetime, Android Duo, or Google Meet. Please let PACT’s representative know which you prefer or if you need help with technology.
For mobility purposes, use a cell phone, tablet, or laptop with a working camera.
At the selected time you will log on, we suggest you log on a few minutes early to make sure the settings are correct, and you can connect.
- The PACT representative will go over PACT’s foster programs.
- We will then ask for a tour of your home, we would like to see all areas the foster pet would have access to, including the yard. We would also like to see your pets and where, if applicable, the crates are kept.
- Then you have an opportunity to ask any questions you may have.
- The entire visit will take approximately 20-30 mins.
- Pet-proofing a home is important for new Foster Families. Check that your house plants are not poisonous to animals or move them out of reach. Keep medications and chemicals on high shelves or in latched cabinets. Cover trash cans. Block any small spaces, nooks, or holes in walls, cabinets, or behind your washer/dryer. Put shoes, laundry, string/craft items, and children’s toys behind cabinet doors. Make sure all cords are out of the pet’s reach or have a cord cover. If you have stairs, consider a pet gate to prevent falls or unwanted excursions. Finally, if you are fostering a dog with a large tail or a cat, consider putting fragile knick-knacks away so they are not knocked over.
- Congratulations, at this point you have become part of our PACT foster family community.
- Your household will now be added to our growing database of approved fosters.
- We will ask you to keep an eye on our website and social media to see if there are any pets you might like to foster.
If you are interested in a specific pet, please read the pet’s full bio on our website. If you think the pet would be a suitable match for your household, please reach out to the coordinator listed and let them know.
Once it is determined that the household is a match, the PACT representative will forward your contact information to the owner. The owner will then reach out to you and you will discuss the pet’s personality, routine, and other care needs, as well as your household’s dynamics and routines. If possible, we highly recommend a meet and greet. Once the meet and greet have been completed and you both think it will be a good fit, PACT must be notified, and we will send out a Foster Agreement for signatures.
NEVER ACCEPT A PET WITHOUT A SIGNED FOSTER AGREEMENT IN PLACE.
- Sometimes due to distance or other complications a meet and greet cannot be completed prior to drop-off.
- Many people will choose to do a meet and greet and drop off at the same time. If this has been discussed. Please let PACT know and we will send out a Foster Agreement ahead of time and it can be signed prior to the meeting. If the meeting doesn’t go well, we will void the contract.
- Yes, at PACT’s discretion, Foster Families can foster more than one animal at a time if space in your home allows for another animal.
- If fostering for another organization other than PACT, the foster’s pet owner and PACT must be notified.
Yes, you have the right to say which pet(s) you are willing to foster.
- ALL PETS ENTERING OUR PROGRAM ARE REQUIRED TO BE UP TO DATE ON ALL SHOTS AND SPAYED AND NEUTERED.
- On occasion a pet may not be spayed or neutered, which will be indicated in the pet’s bio, as well as the reason why the pet is not fixed. Such as a documented medical condition. This can be discussed with PACT and the Owner.
PACT does not require that dogs have some sort of flea and tick preventive. Please make sure you discuss this with the owner. Most dogs are on flea and tick control, and PACT will be changing our protocols to require flea and tick control measures.
- PACT does not require Indoor cats to be on a flea and tick preventative, but that can be discussed with the owner if you would prefer that they have some sort of preventative.
- PACT does not require the pets be on monthly heartworm medications
- All Flea and Tick preventatives are paid for by the owner.
Each pet is different in its hygiene and grooming needs. Talk to the owner about their pets’ specific needs. The owner is responsible for the costs of grooming. If you have a trusted groomer, they may be willing to keep the owner’s credit card on file for services.
- If you have an emergency or the foster pet is not adjusting to the new household, let PACT know and we will look for a new foster.
- Some pets have long foster term dates, and the term can be broken up between two(2) or more PACT fosters.
- The Pet Owner is held responsible for all food, supplies, and medical care of the Foster Pet. PACT highly recommends setting up an automatic food and supply delivery through CHEWY.com, PETSMART.com, PETVALUE.com, or Amazon.com. This will ensure the necessary supplies are provided and as a foster, you will not have to wait for reimbursement. Medical or out of pockets expenses can be reimbursed via Venmo, Paypal, check, cash, or a debit/gift card.
- Reimbursement for veterinarian costs MUST be discussed with the owner and is covered in our foster agreement.
- Contact the owner immediately about the delay.
- The foster must contact PACT within 30 days of the delay for PACT to investigate the delay to ensure reimbursement.
- Sometimes there may be a delay in reimbursement due to communication restrictions.
- If the owner indicates they cannot afford the supplies, at any point in time, the foster MUST contact PACT immediately. Do not wait, and do not change the foster agreement terms without having a PACT change of foster term agreement in place.
- The pet’s owner is responsible for all pet sitting or boarding charges for their pet, while you are away.
- The care and cost of the foster pet should be discussed and agreed upon, prior to travel dates.
If the friend or family member has agreed to care for the foster pet, then this option should be discussed with the owner.
Every owner is different, and this option should be discussed with the owner.
NO, PACT is primarily a volunteer-run organization, and Foster Families are not paid for boarding a pet. The only monetary exchange between Pet Owner and Foster Family should be funds provided by Pet Owner to cover expenses directly relating to the pet’s care.
Some pets have long foster term dates, and the term can be broken up between two(2) or more PACT fosters.
If the Foster Family cannot fulfill their Foster Agreement for any reason, PACT will seek out a replacement Foster Family. Should PACT be unable to contact either Pet Owner or their Point of Contact for greater than two weeks, ownership of the Foster Pet will change to PACT, who will try to adopt the animal out, but cannot guarantee placement within PACT’s network. If an owner has not put in place a plan for their pet in case of foster failure, pets may needlessly end up in shelters.
The Owner is required to notify PACT and the Foster Family of any behaviors that might endanger foster’s property, other animals, or humans such as aggression, jumping, digging, chasing, chewing, marking, etc. Owners will remain financially responsible in case of such incidents, assuming the Foster acted reasonably to prevent such an accident and was providing reasonable, proper care to the pet.
If the pet is injured or involved in an accident during the owner’s deployment or hospitalization and while in PACT Foster’s care, it is Foster’s responsibility to immediately take the pet to a veterinarian for evaluation. PACT and the Owner must be notified. Owners will remain financially responsible in case of such an incident, assuming the Foster took reasonable measures to prevent such an accident and was providing reasonable proper care to the pet. A veterinary release form is included in our Foster Agreement, which allows the Owner to specify a veterinarian they prefer, and the maximum dollar amount they will pay, and protects the Foster Family. PACT recommends that all pets be microchipped with updated contact information, always wearing a collar with updated contact information, and insured against injury or illness to give the Owner peace of mind in the event of an accident.
What happens if the Owner does not return from their deployment or hospitalization (missing, deceased, or unable to resume care due to physical or mental injury?)
If the Owner does not return from their deployment or hospitalization due to unfortunate circumstances, the Foster will contact PACT to determine who will assume care of the Foster Pet.
The Owner needs to contact PACT, and if the foster can accommodate the request a Foster Agreement Extension. Do not continue to foster without a signed agreement. If you, continue to foster without an updated PACT foster agreement you will not be covered under PACT’s program, and it will be considered a private foster agreement between the Owner and Foster.
- If you are willing to foster again, PACT must be notified, and the owner must complete a new application and a new contract will be sent out for signatures.
- If a new contract is not signed, it is considered a private arrangement between owner and foster and not through PACT’s Foster Program.
Pet Owner FAQs
- Reason: PACT only offers foster care to pets of people who love their pets but are unable to care for them due to military deployment. Owners must check with all friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors first, and use PACT only as the last resort before surrendering their pets to a shelter.
- Dates: Owners must provide a solid date they agree to retrieve their pets by, and proof that they can provide care (housing and food) when they return. The pet must be transported to and from the foster home by the owner or someone who knows the pet well.
- Pet Health: The Foster Pet must up-to-date on all required shots. Dogs and cats must be spay/neutered and current on flea-tick preventative before entering the Foster Home.
- Care: Owners agree to cover all costs for their pets’ food, medical care, and damages to Foster’s property, as set forth in the Foster Agreement. Owners have the ability to cap unexpected medical costs at a predetermined amount. A state-side Point of Contact must be provided who can make emergency decisions regarding the pet if the owner is unavailable.
- Behavior: PACT does not allow aggressive or destructive animals into it’s program, and should a pet bite, scratch, snap at, be destructive or excessively disruptive while in the foster program for any reason, they must be immediately removed.
- Transport: Owner is responsible for Pet’s transport to and from the Foster Home. If the pet is a dog going into a foster home with other dogs, or if PACT has any concerns about the pets behavior in a new home, the Owner or someone who knows the animal personally must travel with the pet to the foster home for the pet’s drop-off.
- If you need a temporary foster for your pet, please fill out the application here.
YES, as long as the owner’s need for temporary foster care is still military-related (training, PCS, re-assignment) and fulfills all other requirements listed above.
What if I need temporary care for my pet because I need to move out of my apartment or need a job before I can care for my animal?
PACT does not offer foster care for these emergencies due to the unreliable foster completion dates. PACT’s mission is to prevent anyone from having to turn his or her pet over to a shelter, never to see it again, due to the owner’s military service to our country.
No. PACT connects military members with temporary pet homes. We promote life-time, responsible pet ownership and thus, we do not permanently re-home any foster pets. If you are interested in surrendering your pet, please contact your local rescue group or shelter.
Boarding lasts between 1 month – 2 years. Pet Owners give an estimated date of foster completion, which sometimes varies by a few weeks. Foster Families can specify a maximum and minimum foster length they are comfortable with, which PACT will accommodate.
Pets must be altered (spayed/neutered) and current on all required shots before they are fostered in PACTs Foster Program. PACT works with the Spayed Club in Sharon Hill, PA to provide spaying/neutering at a maximum cost of $25 per dog or cat.
Every case is different and equally important to us. We work diligently with our foster homes and PACT’s goal is to place an animal in the best foster home as quickly as possible in all our cases. We do appreciate having an advance date of departure for animal fosters.
My pet has special needs (takes medication, separation anxiety, etc.) does PACT accommodate special needs animals?
Yes! We are happy to work with you and your animal to find the best foster home that can accommodate your pets needs.
No! We take pride in offering no-cost services to military personnel in need of emergency assistance. We do require the owner to reimburse the foster for their pet’s food, grooming, and medical expenses, to prevent undue pressure on the foster family. We also encourage, but do not require, a donation to PACT to help offset the cost of finding, arranging, and supporting the Foster Home while the owner is away. Your generous donation to PACT for Animals is essential to keeping these emergency services available to the public at no cost.
Yes. However, your pet must be transported to the Foster Home. Approximately 250 are within 100 miles of Philadelphia, PA and approximately 400 are throughout the rest of the country. If your dog is being placed into a home with another dog, or we have concerns about their behavior in a new home, the owner or someone who personally knows the pet must travel with them to the foster home.
PACT is available to all foster families 24/7, should an emergency or issue arise. After the initial foster meeting, PACT is in regular contact with the Foster Family to ensure the foster pet is acclimatizing and everything is running smoothly. Unless there is reason to touch base more often, PACT will contact the Foster Families on a monthly basis, checking that the Foster Pet Owner and Foster Family are doing well and staying in regular communication.
Pet Owner and Foster Family contact each other regularly, as listed on their Foster Agreement, through email, phone, Skype, postal mail, videos and occasional visits if Pet Owner is available. While the minimum amount of contact is monthly, many Fosters send weekly or even semi-weekly updates on the foster pets activities. Our Pet Owners have reported that these stories and pictures become a high point of their time away, that they look forward to and could rely on to bring good news and a smile to their faces. After completion of the foster period, Foster Families often visit the Foster Pets and Pet Owners in their home, forming a bond that will last a lifetime.
PACT cannot release non-public information about the foster animal to anyone who is not included in the Foster Agreement. This would be the Owner, the Foster, and the Owner’s Point-of-Contact. Similarly, PACT does not release non-public information about the Foster Family. Of course, you are free to share information about your pet with whomever you’d like! Family and friends can also check PACT’s website for photos and descriptions of the drop-off and reunion.
The Pet Owner is held responsible for all food and medical care of the Foster Pet. This is arranged in the Foster Agreement, and is usually paid via Paypal, check, cash, or a debit/gift card.
PACT is a primarily volunteer-run organization and Foster Families are not paid for boarding a pet. The only monetary exchange between Pet Owner and the Foster Family should be funds provided by Pet Owner to cover expenses directly relating to the pet’s care.
If the Foster Family cannot fulfill their Foster Agreement for any reason, PACT will seek out a replacement Foster Family and do it’s best to assist with training or food/veterinary support. Should PACT be unable to contact either Pet Owner or their Point Of Contact for greater than two weeks, ownership of the Foster Pet will change to PACT, who will try to adopt out the animal, but cannot guarantee placement within PACT’s network. If an Owner has not put in place a plan for their pet in case of Foster failure, pets may needlessly end up in shelters.
The Owner is required to notify PACT and the Foster Family of any behaviors that might endanger the Foster’s property, other animals, or humans such as: aggression, jumping, digging, chasing, chewing, marking, etc. Owners will remain financially responsible in case of such incidents, assuming the Foster acted reasonably to prevent such an accident and was providing reasonable, proper care to the pet.
If a pet is injured or involved in an accident during the owner’s deployment or hospitalization and while in a PACT Foster’s care, it is the Foster’s responsibility to immediately take the Pet to a veterinarian for evaluation. Owners will remain financially responsible in case of such incident, assuming the Foster took reasonable measures to prevent such an accident and was providing reasonable, proper care to the pet. A veterinary release form is included in our Foster Agreement, which allows the Owner to specify a veterinarian they prefer and maximum dollar amount they will pay, and protects the Foster Family. PACT recommends that all pets be microchipped with updated contact information, always wearing a collar with updated contact information, and insured against injury or illness to give Owners peace of mind in the event of an accident.
What happens if the Owner does not return from their deployment (missing, deceased, or unable to resume care due to physical or mental injury)?
If the Owner does not return from their deployment due to unfortunate circumstances, the Foster will contact Owner’s Point Of Contact to determine who will assume care of the Foster Pet. Ensure your pets’ care is covered in your will, and that you leave your Foster a Point Of Contact who will be able to provide guidance in accordance to your will, with what to do with the pet and who will assume care of the pet. Remember, if something happens to you, your Foster will not know unless you list them as a person to be contacted in case of your death, injury, or missing status. Ensure the personal information on file with your command, hospital, or close family includes your pet’s Foster Family. If owner is not able to resume care and has no one listed who can resume care, ownership of animal passes to PACT, which cannot guarantee adoptions within PACT’s network. If an Owner has not put in place a plan for their pet in case of a tragedy, pets may needlessly end up in shelters.