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ARLINGTON, Va. —, a service that matches volunteer foster-caregivers with military members who need someone to care for their dogs, cats, or birds while deployed or moving between assignments, has run out of foster homes in Europe.

NetPets founder Steve Albin said he is looking for animal lovers who are willing to open their homes to military pets in Germany, Great Britain, Italy and Belgium at no charge to servicemembers.

Albin began the Military Pets Foster Project after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

His nonprofit organization has helped link up more than 8,800 fosterings since then, he told Stars and Stripes in a Wednesday telephone interview.

But in Europe, the high demand for foster care and the rapid turnover of military families — who are among his best source of volunteers — has depleted the list of potential pet-sitters.

“The well is dry,” Albin said. “We really need more kind-hearted people in Europe, Germany particularly, to volunteer as foster families.”

Anyone who is interested in providing foster care, or servicemembers in need of fostering for their pets, can go to and fill out an application. Every foster home must provide two personal references, as well as a veterinarian’s phone number and name.

The organization will make a suitable match, working to keep pets who are in the same family together, and matching dogs with families whose foster “moms and dads” have experience with or already own those breeds, Albin said.

Pet owners provide food, treats, bedding, medicine, toys and pay for medical care if needed during their pets’ stay.


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