Monday, May 28, 2012

Silent Heroes: Honoring War Dogs This Memorial Day

Animal Planet Daily Treat blog


In honor of Memorial Day, my esteemed colleagues Lulu Schmoo, Zazou & Kiki here at The Daily Treat would like to recognize all the incredibly brave, selfless men, women and service & military dogs that have given their lives for our country.

No Longer Left Behind

War dogs have been silently fighting for on our behalf for decades and up until around the year 2000, most of these brave and dedicated souls were actually left behind, literally abandoned -- by the military despite having loyally loved and protected their soldiers in battle. In fact, after the Vietnam War, only 204 of an estimated 4,900 war dogs returned to the United States, according to military dog organizations.

Thankfully, this practice changed in the year 2000 when President Clinton signed a law allowing the dogs to be adopted. Last year, 338 dogs were adopted, including 34 that were given to police departments or other government agencies.

Military Dog Adoptions on the Rise

In fact, just this week MSNBC released a story indicating that life after the military is looking brighter than ever for America's four-legged veterans since one of their own helped in the mission to kill Osama bin Laden. War dog organizations say the number of people asking about adopting retired military canines has risen dramatically since the mission involving Cairo, the Navy SEALs dog tasked with tracking anyone who tried to escape from bin Laden's compound and alerting the special operations forces to anyone approaching.

To learn more about these incredible heroes and their stories or to learn about how to adopt and/or support retired war dogs, visit USWarDogs.org or Military Working Dog Adoptions.

originally published 5/27/2011

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