Mission: To provide individual foster homes for the dogs, cats, birds, and other pets of military personnel called to active duty until they can be reunited with their owners.
The Military Pets Foster Project is the sole initiative of NetPets, originally established by Steve Albin as a resource listing veterinarians and providing links to other pet-related sites. After 9/11, Albin, who used to breed and show dogs, decided the site could do more by directly helping pet owners in the military called up for service in Iraq and Afghanistan, or in the United States in the aftermath of hurricanes. Often, military personnel are deployed so quickly that their pets end up in shelters, where they are adopted or euthanized, and the owners never see them again. NetPets' service of matching an animal to a foster home is free, as is the care itself, but the military pet owner pays for food, treats, toys, grooming, and any medication or veterinary care. Dogs and cats are placed most often, but NetPets has also placed horses, birds, ferrets, and other animals. Since September 19, 2001, when it first offered the service, eight thousand pets have been placed in foster homes.
Outstanding Web Features:
Military registration of pets online requires the pet's name, age, weight, any medical or behavioral problems, the veterinarian's name and telephone number, and dates needed for care, along with the owner's military I.D., branch of service, and e-mail address. NetPets then contacts the pet owner with the names and numbers of foster houses available. The pet owner and the foster care provider meet and sign a contract to ensure that the animal returns to its owner. Foster care registration requires families or individuals to supply two personal references, the kinds of pets already in their home, the kinds of pets they are willing to foster, their vet's name and number, and their e-mail address. Albin checks with the references and the vet before accepting foster care providers.