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United States Army
2430 Tennessee Ave.
FORT POLK, LA 71459
Policies and rules for shipping pets vary at each installation. It’s important to understand the regulations, prohibitions and laws at your new installation before moving with a pet. Below, you’ll find installation-specific details for registering, boarding and transporting your pet.
Pets residing on post at Fort Polk must be registered with the Veterinary Clinic before receiving housing. Current immunizations are required.
Dangerous breeds: Several breeds of dogs have been designated as dangerous and are prohibited from living on Fort Polk. They are:
Animals must be microchipped, which is a form of permanent identification (JRTC & FP Reg 40-3). If you give a microchipped animal away, you must do a change of ownership at the Veterinary Treatment Facility. You will be held legally and financially responsible for your animals while they are in your name.
All pets maintained in government quarters must be registered with the Fort Polk VTF services. This registration requirement does not apply to small animals in cages or fish.
Dogs and cats must be immunized per local statues (Leesville and Vernon Parish). The failure to register pets that are being maintained in government quarters may result in their immediate removal and the sponsor//owner losing pet privileges for the remainder of their assignment at Fort Polk. Registration packets can be picked up during normal business hours.
Households are not permitted to have more than two pets, unless exceptions are made. All animals must be current on their vaccinations and dogs must be kept on a heartworm preventative year-round. Animals found running loose will be picked up by Alexandria Animal Control.
Animals are not permitted to be housed in the barracks. This includes reptiles, spiders, ferrets, fish, gerbils and alligators of any age, length or gender.
There are no stables on Fort Polk, although there are stables and boarding facilities off-post. Upon arrival with your horse or pony at your new home in Louisiana, you will need an interstate health certificate and negative Coggins test verification.
You may choose to have your horse or pony microchipped, but at this time there is no requirement for equine chipping in Louisiana.
There are no quarantines for pets arriving on Fort Polk.
When it comes to PCS moves, your pet is your responsibility. You will need to meet requirements -- and pay any fees -- for documentation, immunization and pet entry at your next duty station. Your military travel office can help you make reservations for air transport or give guidance on how to make the best arrangements for your pet.
If your pet will be riding in the car with you, be sure to have proof of a rabies vaccination and a current health certificate available when crossing state or international borders. If your pet is accompanying you in your vehicle when you move, consider:
Be aware that airlines normally will not allow animals to travel in the cargo hold when it's very hot or cold outside. In most cases, your veterinarian can give authorization that your pet is healthy enough to fly at slightly higher or lower temperatures. But check with your veterinarian and the airlines.
Requirements vary by carrier. Some airlines allow small dogs or cats to accompany owners in the passenger cabin, as long as they are in a carrier that fits under the seat. Airlines may impose additional charges for pets in the passenger cabin.
You should consider a carrier or portable kennel if you have a dog or cat. Folding kennels as well as crates designed especially for station wagons are available. Condition your dog or cat to use a leash if you haven't already done so.
Cat harnesses are available at many pet shops. Unless your dog or cat is already conditioned to car travel, start taking it on short trips to accustom it to car motion. A dog should be taught to keep its head inside the car, and not bark at passing vehicles.
Attach pet travel identification and rabies tags firmly to your pet's collar. Never let your dog or cat loose in a strange place and always attach the leash before opening the car door and detach it after the pet is back inside and the door is closed. Keep a close watch on your pets when stopping at filling stations and restaurants.
Birds and small pets, such as gerbils and hamsters, can generally travel in the cage they use at home. To keep the bird calm, cover its cage while you are on the road. Remove the water container from the cage to avoid spills. Place the cage in the car out of drafts but with plenty of ventilation, and make sure it remains steady. Be sure to give your pet fresh water at every stop, and observe normal feeding schedules.
Tropical fish are susceptible to abrupt changes in water temperature, and their condition is directly affected by overcrowding. To transport tropical fish by car, it is best to remove them from the aquarium unless it is a small one that can be moved without leaking.
You probably won't need to feed your fish, as most species can go without food for as long as a week. Use an unbreakable container or a leakproof plastic bag closed with a rubber band, place it in an outer bag of similar size to prevent accidental leakage, then into a sturdy container, such as a Styrofoam picnic cooler, which will help stabilize water temperature.
When transferring fish to the container, remember to fill it or a plastic bag only about one-third full of water. Use water from the aquarium, add the fish and close the top. Open the container or plastic bag every four or five hours to freshen the air supply. Empty and dry the aquarium and pack it carefully, or have the mover pack it for you. Plants and snails from the aquarium can be carried along in plastic bags with a small amount of water.
Your horse or pony can be transported commercially via air freight or by a horse transporting company, or you can tow it in a horse trailer behind your vehicle.
If you are making an out-of-state move, you will need the health documents required by your destination state. Be sure to inquire about local facilities for horse care. Motels, particularly in rural communities, will sometimes grant permission for a horse and trailer to be kept in the parking area overnight.
If you are camping, make certain that horses are permitted in the campgrounds or somewhere close by. A horse or pony can generally be boarded overnight at stables along the way at a reasonable cost. Most stables will ask to see the animal's interstate health certificate and negative Coggins (equine infectious anemia) as requirements for admission. Louisiana is one of those states. The Coggins paperwork must be current. When trailering horsed, remember to make stops at rest areas to unload and exercise them.
If your are traveling with your pet to or through Louisiana during the summer months, be aware of the weather conditions. Hot, humid and tropical conditions are the norm, with heat indexes sometimes soaring above 100 degrees.
You will want to keep your animal well-hydrated and parked in the shade when you stop. Never leave your animal in a parked car with the windows up. The inside temperature of your vehicle can rise to above 120 degrees within an hour if left with little ventilation during a Louisiana summer.
There are no on-post pet kennels at Fort Polk. Contact the Fort Polk Veterinary Clinic, 337-531-1322 or DSN 312-863-1322, for assistance with local kennels.
Boarding facilities in the surrounding area of Fort Polk are as stated. For more information, you may contact the individual facility:
Most area veterinary services offer boarding and kennel runs. Fees for boarding will vary.
Fort Polk Veterinary Treatment Facility welcome packets can be picked up at the facility during business hours. For appointments, call 337-531-1322/1323 or DSN 312-863-1322/1323, or stop in at the VTF.
Treatments offered by the facility include the dispensing of medications, vaccinations, microchipping, dental work and surgical procedures. The VTF does not provide emergency services. The closest emergency services are located in Leesville or DeRidder, both within a 10- to 20-minute drive of the installation.
There are no animal boarding facilities available, so you must make off-post arrangements.
Dangerous breeds are not allowed on post. Pit bulls, chows, Rottweilers, English/American Staffordshire bull terriers and wolf hybrids are classified as dangerous breeds.
If you want to file an exception to policy, you will need $300,000 in liability insurance and have a good canine certificate. You can obtain an ETP from the residential communities initiative office. Animals must be boarded off post until completed (Reference: JRTC & FP REG 40-3 - ANIMAL AND ANIMAL DISEASE CONTROL).
Garrison Policy No. 28 has rules about control of animals on Fort Polk, which can be found at JRTC & Fort Polk website.
The Fort Polk VTF provides veterinary services for animals owned by authorized Defense Department medical care personnel enrolled in DEERS.
Animals may be examined, immunized, microchipped and treated for the prevention and control of diseases that could be transmitted to humans or other animals, or those diseases that may constitute a community health threat.