Military working dogs are an important part of our current armed forces and the defense of our nation. They provide various jobs including narcotic and explosive detection, base defense, security and patrol, search and rescue, and PTSD recovery assistance. As of 2011, around 600 dogs were serving in active combat zones overseas. The majority of these dogs were born into the service and trained at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.
The United States War Dog Association (USWDA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring these dogs receive the same attention and care as the human veterans. The USWDA specifically focuses on educating the public about military working dogs, establishing a memorial, and improving the quality of life for these dogs after war.
Josh Smith, one of our outstanding developers, nominated The United States War Dogs Association. As a veteran himself, Josh believes the dogs deserve the best treatment when wounded and/or retired from duty.
The Department of Defense has been using military working dogs since World War I, however, it was not until 2000 that a bill was passed that allowed these dogs to be adopted after their duty. Prior to this, older war dogs were required to be euthanized. Recently, the Canine Members of the Armed Forces Act passed by the House and Senate, and was ultimately signed into law by President Obama. This act classifies military working dogs as members of the armed forces, instead of their former classification of equipment. This allows the government to assist in the process of getting the former war dogs adopted, if they qualify for civilian life.
To learn more about The United States War Dog Association, visit their website.
U.S. Marine Cpl. Kyle Click, an improvised explosive device detection dog handler with 3rd Platoon, Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, shares a moment with his dog Windy while waiting to resume a security patrol at Garmsir District, Afghanistan Feb 27, 2012.
A photo of Rony, a military working dog, is displayed during a memorial ceremony at Hurlburt Field, Fla., March 16, 2012. Rony, who died March 8, 2012, served as a patrol dog for President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.