(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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19 COMMENTS

  1. Once again, I wish we could have a debate without the name calling….Perhaps I shouldnt have said "this is fucking stupid" but I did not insult anyone personally.

    What the hell does my mentality have to do with human suffering….I'm trying to alleviate human suffering with this mentality.

    Why do I have more value than a dog? Because I have the potential to make a discovery that will improve the world (innovations in energy, cure for cancer, etc.) A dog will never do any of these things. Humans have more value than animals for this reason alone. If you had to choose between the life of a human or a dog you are telling me it would be a difficult decision? The decision between giving money to help veteran humans or veteran animals is the same thing.

    As far as all this talk about evidence…..no I do not "see a soul" when I look in their eyes. You have to be logical and base your decisions based on evidence, not on faith…I'm a spiritual person and have deep respect for all of creation. I believe that humans will continue to improve the world, and in the end all of creation will be raised up by this…You just need to remember that you are taking money away from human veterans who need it when you spend money on animal veterans.

  2. you do realize the mentality you have is the reason why there is human suffering. we still place our species to be higher than others even though we are all connected and share the same planet. every living thing deserves a quality life. yes humans may have more value than animals because of their intelligence, complex internal systems, and ability to create and inspire… however, since we have domesticated wild animals to care for us and serve us we should have the decency to respect what we have created. an animal as a pet is severely different from a wild one and they rely on us to give them love, trust us unconditionally, and live to serve us. they are more self aware than you give credit for. just because the evidence isn't there doesn't mean it doesn't exist. when you look into the eyes of even wild animals you can see and feel a soul, same as you would with a fellow human. how dare you be a pompous asshole and spew bullshit just because you can. just like religion atheists demand proof and since evil exists there cannot be such a thing as god. but why can't everyone respect that such a thing as faith exists and that humans need it to have a better quality of life. dogs have faith in us to treat them fairly and welcome them into our family or "pack" but instead after we're done with them or cannot take care of them for whatever reason we throw them out in the cold. nothing will be changed if we cannot change our mentality within us. it starts with you matthew henderson and all the other nonbelievers. animals deserve just as much as humans do to live a full and healthy life filled with love. since we are humans and more intelligent and compassionate, we should be delivering on that duty and show respect. what makes you so better that you cannot see every other living life has just as much value as yours.

  3. Once again, the name calling…I would love to debate and be much more open to hearing your opinion if I wasnt called an idiot…

    Give me scientific evidence that dogs are self-aware. There are studies that show that they ARE NOT. The examples that you gave have nothing to do with the concept of self-awareness. Have you heard of the mirror test?

    I would like to alleviate the suffering of animals, but I value human life more. If you help a human overcome PTSD then perhaps he/she will become a valuable member of society and make changes that positively affect the course of the human race. If you cure a dog, then he/she will be happy and may be a nice companion.

    My only point is that humans are more valuable than animals and should be sufficiently cared for before we worry about dogs. You disagree?

  4. Good lord…did I personally insult you just because I disagree with you? Have you read ANY studies that show they are self aware? Because there are MANY that show they arent…but science doesnt appear to be something people like you are interested so I dont know why I bother….I would love to debate this if people didnt immediately resort to calling me a moron.

    Dont use HUMAN BEINGS if you arent going to treat them correctly. If we take care of that problem first, then I am all for taking care of these dogs.

  5. There are thousands of charities set up to care for military veterans. The problem is not the lack of them, but the lack of organization in them.
    Taking care of these dogs does matter. Military dog handlers get attached to their partners and many of them would benefit from being able to adopt and care for the dogs when they're done with service, however it's not always easy to get them home and adopted.

  6. People like you are the reason why charities like the ASPCA and the Humane Society still have to exist: a bunch of idiots think that only humans are self-aware (which is completely false on so many levels: pets can become deeply emotionally attached to their owners, the pain they feel is just as real as the pain we feel, military animals that see combat can suffer from PTSD just like humans do, animals are just as afraid of death as we are, etc.) and use that as an excuse to treat them horribly.

    If you are just going to treat your pet like a piece of equipment (and thus give it as much love and care as you would give your toaster), do the world a favor and give the pet to a loving family that will treat him kindly and with respect.