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DAF sets documentation requirements for pet travel expense reimbursement

  • Published
  • Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs

UPDATED JAN. 4, 2024

ARLINGTON, Va. (AFNS)--The Department of the Air Force has established documentation requirements for Airmen and Guardians planning to request reimbursement pet travel expenses due to permanent change of station moves.

The Defense Travel Management Office announced a new policy to cover pet travel expenses, including pet transportation and quarantine fees, in June 2023.

Starting Jan. 1, 2024, service members can be reimbursed up to $550 in the continental U.S. for one household pet, either cat or dog, and up to $2,000 for moves to or from a location outside the continental U.S. to cover costs related to the transportation of a pet which is defined by the Joint Travel Regulations as a cat or dog.

Members can request reimbursement along with their PCS travel voucher, but they must meet eligibility requirements and include all required documentation. Documentation requirements include:

• Service members must be on PCS orders, and all travel and expenses must take place on or after Jan. 1, 2024.

• Members must provide receipts for all costs.

• Receipts must be itemized, indicate they are for one pet and include the name of the pet if possible (especially for specialized care the pet receives, such as vaccinations).

• If the pet is flying cargo because it exceeds the weight limit to travel via government or government-procured transportation, the receipt must include the weight of the pet.

• If a member self-procures a ticket at a location serviced by the Patriot Express, they must have a non-availability letter and appropriate remarks on their orders. Otherwise, the transportation portion of the reimbursement will be limited to the cost of shipping the pet via the Patriot Express. All documentation used to obtain a non-availability letter must be included when the member files their PCS travel voucher.

Costs eligible for reimbursement include mandatory microchipping, boarding fees, hotel service charges, licensing fees at the new primary duty station (PDS), and pet shipping fees if the member flies rather than drives or if the pet is shipped separately from the member.

For PCS to or between OCONUS moves, quarantine fees and testing titer level (antibodies) for entry are also eligible for reimbursement.

For more information, visit the DTMO FAQs webpage and the DAF FAQs webpage. In addition, please contact your local finance office if you need assistance with requesting reimbursement.