(MILITARY DOGS) A new bill is in the works that will give much-needed recognition and benefits to our canine warriors. The bill would redefine the dogs as “canine members of the armed services” rather than equipment, provide for their future medical care, and help them find loving homes, all funded by charitable donations. Read on for more on this amazing new piece of legislation for military dogs. — Global Animal  
MIlitary working dogs are an invaluable part of our society. Photo Credit: Politico/ Reuters

Ecorazzi, Brook Bolen

A recently proposed piece of bipartisan legislation would ensure all retired military dogs are provided with veterinary care, a loving home, and recognition for their heroic work.

The bill, backed by Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Republican Representative Walter Jones of North Carolina, would reclassify the dogs as “canine members of the armed services,” rather than equipment, and would also require the Pentagon to set up non-profit agencies for some or all of the dogs’ post-military health care needs, which are often sizable. The bill further directs the Pentagon to transfer retired dogs without owners to locations where they’re most apt to be adopted. In most cases, this would be a 400-acre facility at San Antonio’s Lackland Air Force Base, which not only trains military dogs but has an existing adoption program. Lastly, the bill calls for the animals to be recognized for their service, especially those who died in service or whose feats were particularly courageous.

This legislation not only directly helps the animals, but their veteran owners as well. “For a vet coming home who loves the dog and wants to care for it, it can be a significant financial burden,” Senator Blumenthal notes. And because the care would be funded by charitable donations, it would not cost tax payers. Both Blumenthal and Jones are “dog-lovers” motivated by the dangerous and courageous work military dogs do on behalf of American troops.

While the use of dogs in war dates back to ancient Greeks and Romans, they received national attention last year when the New York Times reported that the Navy Seals team responsible for raiding Osama bin Ladin’s Pakistani compound utilized a dog in their mission. At the time, then-commander of US forces in Afghanistan, General David Petraeus, said the dog’s capability “cannot be replicated by man or machine” and “outperforms any asset we have in our industry.” Dogs trained for military work typically serve an average of 10 to 12 years and perform many specialized life-saving functions, such as detecting drugs or explosives.

Blumenthal and Jones hope their proposed legislation will help streamline the adoption process, prevent working dogs from being left behind abroad and, ultimately, minimize the number of military dogs that are euthanized.

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Military Dogs Classified As “Equipment”

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19 COMMENTS

  1. I am a veteran, and I know first hand the benefits that a military working dog provides to troops in the field. They too are veterans, and should receive the same consideration that veterans do. Many of our military men and women are alive because of these dogs and their work, not too mention Afghan and Iraqi soldiers and civilians. Military working dogs have been awarded medals and commendations for their work. Through their work finding mines and explosives they make it safer for human beings. I thank God for them, a animal, not elevated to the same level as human beings selflessly serving to help us. May we be grateful, and show them the compassion and love they deserve.

  2. I'm pretty sure Canines serve in the military for 10-12 years, do they receive anything in return? Would a home, and not euthanasia be sufficient! Military Veterans are cared for, but why not set up a charity for the Canines too? Your the reason humane societies exist, so idiots like you can't abuse animals, or think of them as "items". They deserve at least a home.

  3. Mr. Henderson, if you weren't so free with the expletives maybe you would be called an "idiot or moron" which is a lot less inflamatory than calling everyone else's view "fucking stupid". I'm not sure if you've ever been to war – I have with three tours in Vietnam, Libya in '86, Panama '89, First desert war '90/'91, Bosnia '93 – '97 and recently Afghanistan 2010 – 2012. In two of those deployments I had dogs that I bonded with and who were passed on to another unit.

    Although not "self aware" in a sensient sense of the meaning each of those dogs were part of the "pack" and treated with all the respect of another warrior brother by every soldier and airman they came in contact with.

    As a veteran of very long standing I support this effort right along with your right to come across in the agressive manner you seem to think is appropriate for this venue. be more respectful in your response and you can expect the same in return.

  4. @ Matthew Henderson: I understand your point about debating and name calling. but you are missing one major factor as to why people are responding you…the angry vocabulary that you are using to begin with doesn't make people think they can have an open, intellectual debate with you. maybe try something less confrontational/personal. just an opinion.

  5. Matthew, since you were wondering – you personally insulted every person who cherishes dogs in their lives and values their service in the military when you said "this is fucking stupid". You insulted every person who doesn't think this is fucking stupid, but instead a wonderful program. Especially those of us who know these dogs used to be killed after their service in the military like objects instead of living beings. These words of yours would personally insult many of the military humans who served with these canines that they value as companions. I would suggest you continue your "research" regarding dogs and some of the amazing things they can do without training, there are many studies performed by scientists you might actually have enough respect for to listen to. I guarantee most of us living with dogs, who are highly logical and intelligent humans, know without a doubt they are self aware. I would go into much more detail, but frankly I'm surprised I've invested this much to such a ludicrous, disrespectful thread. I suppose it's because I feel sorry for you.