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. Character of service must be Honorable.

Individuals convicted of a felony, sexual offense of any kind and/or any type of animal mistreatment, abuse, neglect or cruelty are ineligible.

Length of service requirement

You must have completed a minimum of 190 days of military service. Basic and/or active duty training is not applicable towards this requirement. Reservists and members of the National Guard who were never activated are eligible to apply, and must meet this same minimum service requirement.

Proof of service requirements

All applicants are required to provide a copy of one of the following documents. Please redact your social security number prior to sending your documentation:

Active duty:

  • Copy of current original orders, including signature page(s), OR
  • ERB (Army – Enlisted Record Brief) reflecting full/current active duty service history, OR
  • BIR (Marine Corps – Basic Individual Record),reflecting full/current active duty service history, OR
  • ESR (Navy – Electronic Service Record) or NSIPS (Navy Standard Integrated Personnel Systems),reflecting full/current active duty service history
  • Statement of service from your CO with your name, entry date on active duty, duration of any lost time and name of the command providing the information; must be currently dated, on command letterhead and signed.

National Guard and Reserves:

  • Most recent/last-issued DD214 with block including character of service as Honorable, OR
  • DD256 if separated from Reserves and/or was never activated, OR
  • Copy of your NGB-22 (Report of Separation and Record of Service), with proof of Honorable of service, OR
  • Copy of your NGB-23 (Retirement Points Accounting), with evidence of Honorable of service.
Inactive reserve, retired or veteran (discharged/separated from service):
  • Most recent/last-issued DD214 reflecting final tour of duty, with block including character of service as Honorable; we do not accept discharge certificates towards this requirement. 

For ALL veterans character of service must be ‘Honorable.’ We do not accept General discharges or discharges Under Honorable Conditions.

We do not accept documents copied/pasted into Word document, txt file or into the body of the email, and are unable to read .mht files. We suggest printing out and scanning/sending as a PDF document, sending via fax or via regular mail.

The following are NOT accepted as proof of 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:

Other circumstances
Mental health treatment does not disqualify veterans from applying to or being approved by Pets for Patriots. If you are currently in an armed services wounded warrior program, or undergoing out-patient treatment for PTSD, TBI, depression or other psychological condition, we require:
  • 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 by the treating mental health professional
    • 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.

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

  • Proof of legal name change(s), e.g., marriage certificate, divorce decree, other legal document detailing name change

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.

Ready to find your new pet friend?

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