It’s funny and embarrassing what we parents will do for our children's birthday parties. Especially for the younger aged birthdays. Bouncy houses are the norm, petting zoos are not unheard of, and renting the kitchen at Whole Foods for a pizza making session is a brilliant way to avoid 10 five-year-olds tearing down your house. I know, I’ve done it.
Living in base housing always posed a challenge for our visiting friends. Gate regulations frequently changed and were unpredictable. Sometimes the gate guards asked for IDs, sometimes not, and if you weren’t military affiliated at all, the vehicle was often searched by working military dogs.
So, for my daughter’s 4th birthday, how was I supposed to get an exotic pet company with a car full of illegal animals on base?
Now mind you, this birthday party company didn’t haul in ring-tailed lemurs, pumas, or other dangerous creatures. The whole operation was based on education and conservation. So our assortment’s worst offenders were non-poisonous snakes, frogs, and tarantulas that heralded the requisite eww from most of the parents. A chinchilla and rabbit rounded out the guest list and added the aww factor.
I didn’t really have a plan to get this car full of animals on base. If they got stuck, I told the company to call me and I would try and work it out at the visitor center. Luckily, without drama, the gatekeepers weren’t harsh that day and let our animal guests through and the birthday party was a success.
Later, the begging and pleading from my daughter to adopt a red eyed tree frog got me thinking which pets were actually allowed to live in base housing on a permanent basis. I got sidetracked with life and with the high maintenance, but very run of the mill golden retriever who already resided with us.
Fast forward to recent days. MilitaryByOwner asked me to check into which pets of the exotic variety are welcomed in military housing today. I read through some of the pet policies provided by a couple of the big military housing companies, like Corvias and Pinnacle. Basically, they all say the same thing.
Just cats, dogs, birds, fish, hamsters, and guinea pigs. Base commanders and housing companies hold authority to make exceptions, of course, but the gist is no unusual animals can live in base housing.
Specifically, these guys are not welcome:
- Monkeys (seriously, most policies mentioned monkeys)
- Potbellied pigs
- Farm animals
These are, of course, in addition to the restricted breeds of dogs that each base dictates.
I do have to make the disclaimer that this list isn’t exhaustive and there are small variations between military branches, installations, and housing companies. Read and re-read your specific policy to be absolutely positive your pet is welcome.
Don’t forget each company enforces its own pet deposit policy too. This might mean the $25 hamster from the pet store who probably won’t live the entire three years of a duty station warrants a $150 pet fee. Gross violations of pet policies are grounds for your family to be evicted and have to find a new home off base.
If your pet needs don't fit in with military housing policies, MilitaryByOwner has an option to search pet-friendly rentals near your installation. Maybe the homeowners will consider a live-in monkey for a large pet deposit!
Well, probably not.