When we pause on Veterans Day to honor America’s veterans and military, include our military working dogs. Dogs have a long history of active service – the first recorded American use of military dogs was during the Seminole War of 1835!¹
In 1942 the Armed Forces “K-9 Corps” began in earnest. The Quartermaster Corps trained and deployed more than 10,000 dogs during World War II for the Army, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard. Since then, Military Working Dogs have assisted all around the globe, including Korea, Vietnam, Haiti, the Balkans and the Middle East.
Many different breeds, each with their enhanced senses of sight, smell and hearing, work with their handlers to perform dozens of critical tasks. Some police borders, checkpoints or roadblocks; some sniff out bombs or contraband; some guard facilities and personnel; some track fugitives. They are invaluable to military police, infantry, special forces, the Department of Defense and other government agencies.
Specialized breeding programs, like the one at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas, produce quality pups that have become so important to the success of many military missions. Each pup is selected and trained for specific tasks. Those young pups who don’t make the grade are adopted to waiting families – and the list is long.
What happens to Military Working Dogs after they retire? On November 6, 2000, H.R. 5314 was passed, allowing civilians to adopt a retiring Military Working Dog! Consider adopting – and discover how you can add one of these most deserving Veterans to your family: www.militaryworkingdogadoptions.com
Click here for a good list of organizations that support Military Working Dogs, as well as a list of movies and books (including children’s books).
¹Military Working Dogs Field Manual No. 3-19.17, Headquarters, Department of The Army 2005, p.1-2