ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England --
The Air Force requires all pet owners stationed overseas to register their animals at the local Army pet clinic.
The RAF Feltwell Veterinary Clinic serves 48th Fighter Wing Airmen and families.
Registering pets not only fulfills a requirement laid out by the Air Force, but also gives personnel access to the clinic services.
"We keep an active record count of how many pets are owned by servicemembers," said Kaitlyn May, RAF Feltwell Veterinary Clinic supervisory operations assistant. "This allows us to provide services to them, because without registering their pets they're not allowed to get any products or services from the clinic."
In addition to keeping your pet healthy with vaccinations and check-ups, the clinic will be able to return lost pets to their owners if they are microchipped and registered.
"Registration of animals is important as a reliable means of indentifying pets and who they belong to so we can ensure pet safety as well as the safety of [servicemembers] in the base area," said U.S. Army Capt. Michael Vanderwalker, RAF Feltwell Veterinary Clinic branch chief.
The microchip allows veterinarians and animal control officers to quickly scan and identify where the pet is from.
"If your lost pet gets picked up by a local vet they can tell it's a U.S. microchip, so they call us and give us the microchip number and we can go into our system and search for the microchip number and reunite the pet with its owner," echoed May. "The downside to that is if the pet isn't registered with us, we have no way to track it."
Being able to reunite pets with their owners helps keep the number of stray animals on and off base low.
"We can control our stray population by keeping track of our own animals," said Vanderwalker. "It's important because of the U.K. pet regulations. Anything that happens on our base that involves any of our animals can reflect on us as servicemembers."
To find out how to register a pet, visit the RAF Feltwell Veterinary Clinic webpage at http://www.48forcesupport.com/Family/VeterinaryClinic/tabid/110/Default.aspx