In recent news, a military Belgian Malinois dog has gained some notoriety. His work in tracking a high ranking terrorist and protecting soldiers was recognized by the President of the United States. This Veteran’s Day I wanted to bring some recognition to the canines serving to protect our country and troops and learn more about them.
Since March 13, 1942 when the U.S. K9 Corps was formed, tens of thousands of canines have served alongside human handlers. Yorkshire terriers, Pit Bulls, German Shepards and Huskys to name a few, have served in WWII and beyond.
Ron Aiello, the United States War Dog Association president, says these dogs play an instrumental role in keeping US troops alive. Their training includes sniffing out bombs, snippers, or hidden enemies making them the first line of defense, protecting troops from ambushes and saving countless lives. Beyond protected lives they also enhance lives, just like they do at home. Military dogs are great at raising moral and bringing much needed love and companionship.
After a military dog has served 6-8 years they are retired and then put up for adoption. Most retired military dogs have never seen combat or combat training. some are still puppies, but don’t forget the older guys.
Unfortunately once they are retired they are abandoned financially by the government. That is why organizations like the United States War Dog Association are formed, they raise funds to help care for these special animals. If you are considering adopting a retired military dog and are ready to start the official adoption process, contact the MWD Adoptions Program or MWD Foster Program to learn how to apply.