Eligibility and Proof of Service

Who is eligible

Any current or former member of the U.S. military may apply to Pets for Patriots to become a member Patriot, and joining is free. We accept applications from men and women at all stages of their military careers: active, reserve, inactive reserve, veteran, retired and National Guard – regardless of when they served.

Anyone who has served or is serving in any U.S. military service branch is eligible to take our online qualifier: Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard. Honorable discharge is required; no exceptions.

Length of service requirement

You must have completed a minimum of 190 days of active duty service. Basic and/or active duty training is not applicable towards this requirement. Individuals convicted of a felony, sexual offense of any kind and/or any type of animal mistreatment, abuse, neglect or cruelty are ineligible.

Proof of service requirements

To ensure that our donor resources are going to service and veteran members of the U.S. military,  all applicants are required to provide a copy of one of the following documents, without exception. Please redact your social security number prior to sending your documentation:

If active duty, reserve or National Guard:

  • Copy of current original orders, including signature page(s). Must be from verified third-party (e.g., BUPERS) and include URL trail and/or other markings indicating their authenticity, OR
  • Service record reflecting full/current active duty service history
  • We do not accept orders copied/pasted into Word document, txt file or into the body of the email, and are unable to read .mht files. If downloaded from BUPERS, we must see the full URL trail indicating that the printout came from BUPERS. We suggest printing out and scanning/sending as a PDF document, sending via fax or via regular mail.
If inactive reserve, retired or veteran (separated from service):
  • Most recent/last-issued DD214, including block showing character and length of service (typically member copy 2 or 4). We do not accept discharge certificates towards this requirement. 
  • If you have multiple DD214s due to repeat tours of duty or service in a branch of service subsequent to your original enlistment, you must send the last DD214 received to reflect your final tour of duty.
  • Character of service must be ‘honorable’ only. We do not accept General discharges or discharges Under Honorable Conditions.
If currently in an armed services wounded warrior program or acute treatment for PTSD, TBI, depression or other psychological condition:
  • Letter from your psychologist, psychiatrist or psychiatric social worker, on his/her letterhead, stating that you are under his/her treatment and that you are ready for pet adoption. Letter must:
    • Be currently dated (within one month of your application to Pets for Patriots) and signed
    • On letterhead of your mental health professional
    • State that you are under the care of your mental health professional and are ready for the responsibilities of pet adoption and ownership
    • No medical information or diagnosis is necessary
    • Letter must be typed; handwritten letters will not be accepted under any circumstances.

If married, divorced or for other reason you have changed your name:

  • Proof of legal name change(s)

Spouses, parents, siblings, other relatives, guardians or any other individual may not apply on behalf of a service member or veteran, without exception. The application is a legal agreement made directly between Pets for Patriots and the service member or veteran. If you need assistance completing our online qualifier or application, please call 877-473-8223.

The following are NOT accepted as proof of current or honorable service:

  • Pay stubs/LES
  • Dependent IDs
  • Retired military IDs
  • Military IDs 
  • Disability letters
  • ID cards from the Veterans Administration
  • Other documents not listed explicitly as acceptable proof of service

Other information you should know:

Ready to find your new pet friend?

Please send your eligibility documents and proceed to our online application qualifierStill have questions? Read our FAQ.