Here’s to the Canine Veterans That Have Served Our Country Well!
Jessie, the in-the-know dog, ready to serve up some exciting pet information: I hope you all enjoyed an exciting Memorial Day weekend and that you took the time to pay your respects to all who have served and who are currently serving our great country…including the canine kind. So many dogs serve right alongside our soldiers in the heat of battle and are a group of dedicated warriors whose existence is often unrecognized.
According to an article on abcnews.go.com, dogs that serve alongside U.S. soldiers are referred to as “surplus equipment,” but to the soldiers who serve with them, the bond goes far beyond such an insensitive label.
Fortunately, there has been a renewed interest in adopting these service dogs as they retire from their military careers. However, it can be quite costly, as the military does not always pay for the dogs’ return trips home, so some adoptions could cost as much as $2,000.00!
Just as the human soldiers who serve with them, dogs have experienced heavy training, combat, gunfire, explosions and all other products of war, and at some point, it is necessary for them to retire and reacquaint themselves with a more peaceful life. As these dogs prepare to re-enter “civilian life,” it is important that they share in a loving bond with a family that really cares about them and that can offer them a peaceful and tranquil afternoon of life.
Roughly 3,000 dogs, primarily Dutch shepherds, German shepherds, Labrador retrievers and Malinois are deployed with American troops all around the world. These canine solider have worked tirelessly, saving countless lives in the process.
Each year, around 300 of these dogs are retired from their military service and put up for adoption. These dogs give so much in their service and need to be honored, recognized and cherished.
Dogs have been fighting with U.S. soldiers for centuries, unofficially during the Civil War and then were subsequently officially inducted in the U.S. Army during World War II. Sadly, only 204 of the nearly 4,900 dogs that served in the Vietnam War era returned to the states. The dogs that did not make it back suffered abandonment, were euthanized or were given away to the South Vietnamese army.
Fortunately, President Clinton legalized the adoption of war dogs in 2000 and no dogs are euthanized now. In fact, they all find a loving home, especially since there is a six-month waiting list for people who want to adopt these special veterans. While some dogs are adopted by families, some also find homes with police departments and other governmental agencies.
So, we offer our sincerest thanks for ALL soldiers who have served and who are currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces and we definitely salute our tail-wagging comrades, for without them, many soldiers might not have ever returned home. Thank you for your bravery and courage.