(MILITARY WORKING DOGS) U.S. soldiers who want to adopt their K9 war partners after returning from deployment are reportedly being mislead despite the passage of Robby’s Law in November 2000.

This law is meant to protect the right for troops or their families to adopt the retired dogs they served beside in war, but a North Carolina-based company called K2 Solutions, which held the government contract for the military dogs, is allegedly adopting them out to civilians.

In February 2014 alone, at least 200 military handlers’ dogs were secretly given to civilians by K2 Solutions. However, hundreds more soldiers are still searching for their dogs to this day, with the Army, the Pentagon, and K2 Solutions covering up their tracks.

Read on to learn more about the scandal in the following New York Post article, and share your thoughts in the comments below. — Global Animal

U.S. soldier Ryan Henderson with his dog, Satan, whom he has been trying to get back since 2014. Photo Credit: New York Post
U.S. soldier Ryan Henderson with his dog Satan, whom he has been trying to adopt since 2014. Photo Credit: New York Post

New York Post, Maureen Callahan

By then, Daniel had been in Afghanistan two months. It was July 2012, his third tour of duty and his first with Oogie, his military working dog. They were leading their platoon on yet another patrol, clearing a no-name village with maybe 15 houses and one mosque, when they began taking fire.

“The first thing that went though my mind,” he says, “was, ‘S- -t. My dog’s gonna get shot.’ ”

It was a perfect L-shaped ambush, bullets coming from the front and the right, the platoon pinned down in a flat, open landscape. Along the road were shallow trenches, no more than 14 inches deep. Daniel grabbed ­Oogie, squeezed him in a hole, then threw himself over his dog.

It went against all his Army training. “They tell us it’s better for a dog to step on a bomb than a US soldier,” he says. The truth is Daniel, like just about every other dog handler in the armed forces, would rather take the hit himself.

Daniel with his dog, Oogie. Photo Credit: NY Post
U.S. soldier “Daniel” with his war dog Oogie. Photo Credit: New York Post

Five weeks into their training, Daniel and Oogie were inseparable. They showered together. They went to the bathroom together. When Daniel ran on the treadmill, Oogie was on the one right next to him, running along.

That week, Daniel got Oogie’s paw print tattooed on his chest.

“The few times you safeguard your dog are slim compared to what he does every time you go outside the wire,” Daniel says. “That’s your dog. The dog saves you and saves your team. You’re walking behind this dog in known IED hot spots. In a firefight, the dog doesn’t understand.”

Bullets were coming closer now; the enemy had long ago picked up on how important the dogs were to the Americans, how successful they were at sniffing out bombs. “I know there were three separate incidents where they shot at ­Oogie,” Daniel says. And as he lay on top of his dog, he stroked him and whispered and kept him calm.

After five minutes, Daniel’s platoon pushed the enemy back and away, and the first thing Daniel did was get Oogie to shade. “He’s a black Lab, and it was very hot out,” he says. He strapped two big bags of saline to Oogie’s shoulders and hydrated him intravenously, then the two went back out to clear more villages.

“Oogie’s always ready to go,” Daniel says. “He’d hurt himself if I didn’t stop him — he has that much prey drive.”

In September 2012, Daniel and about 18 other soldiers boarded a flight back to North Carolina; their deployment was over.

Waiting on the tarmac were employees from a North Carolina-based company, K2 Solutions, which had the government contract for the dogs. Within moments of deplaning, the handlers got to pat their dogs on the head, say their goodbyes, then watch as the dogs — and all their equipment, down to their shredded leashes — were boarded on a truck and driven away.

“It’s a bunch of infantry guys, and no one wants to be the first to start crying,” Daniel says. “But it didn’t take long. There wasn’t a dry eye.”

The only solace these soldiers had was the knowledge that they could apply to adopt their dogs, and that the passage of Robby’s Law in November 2000 would protect that right.

More than three years later, Daniel still doesn’t have Oogie. The dog has vanished.

Daniel, who doesn’t want to use his real name because he’s on active duty, is one of at least 200 military handlers whose dogs were secretly dumped out to civilians by K2 Solutions in February 2014, a Post investigation has found.

At least three government workers were also involved and may have taken dogs for themselves.

It’s a scandal that continues to this day, with hundreds of handlers still searching for their dogs — and the Army, the Pentagon and K2 Solutions covering up what happened, and what may still be happening.

Read the full New York Post article, here: http://nypost.com/2016/02/14/troops-betrayed-as-army-dumps-hundreds-of-heroic-war-dogs/

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