I have such a respect for the men and women who serve in our country’s armed forces. Not only can I not imagine what life is like once deployed to far away places – I CANNOT imagine making the sacrifice voluntarily. They truly are heroes.
Military working dogs (MWD) serve their country as well…except they were never given a choice. They undergo insane amounts of training, they get shipped off to foreign places, and they see things that most of us cannot even fathom. Yet somehow the U.S. Department of Defense officially classifies them as “equipment.” Yes, equipment.
If you are anything like me – when reading that last sentence, your emotions took over. You probably wondered how living animals could every be categorized with inanimate objects….how classifying these dogs (who risk their lives) as equipment trivialize their important role in our military. While all this is true, we (we being those “crazy dog people”) have to think about this practically. You do not transport dogs the same way as equipment is transported. It costs more money to get a dog overseas than a pair of boots. Legislation MUST be passed in our government to protect these dogs and make sure that – once they have loyally served our country – they can get back home easily and safely…and live out the rest of their days enjoying civilian life.
The Canine Members of the Armed Forces Act will change MWD classification from “equipment” to “canine members of the armed forces.” Federal funds will not be used to cover any additional costs this may incur.
As you can probably imagine, this is not at the top of most of our senator’s to-cosponsor list. (A big shout out to Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut for sponsoring the legislation!) The ASPCA has made it super easy to show your senators you support U.S. S. 2134 – Canine Members of the Armed Forces Act. Click here for quick and simple instructions.
Literally one minute of your time will vastly increase the quality of life for thousands of military dogs.
(If you needed another reason to email your senator…look at these pictures of military dogs in action.)