Military dogs don a “uniform” just like their human handlers do. They walk into a foreign land to defend and assist our American troops. These canine heroes are often putting their lives at risk to help keep our troops safe.
But then when their job is done, they come home and some end up being surrendered to a shelter.
These heroes are canine soldiers that have returned from wars not to the loving open arms of their handlers but into a crated and kenneled existence. In truth, some of these dogs have been living at specialized kennels because they are suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – PTSD – just like human soldiers have for years.
Common Breeds for Military Working Dogs
Back in the 1940s during the height of World War II, there were greater than 30 breeds accepted into the K-9 Corps. Today, the majority of dogs chosen for military service include German and Dutch shepherds as well as the Belgian Malinois.
These breeds are known for their high work drive, athleticism and loyalty.
If a dog is to be a detector dog, however, retrievers are the preferred breed. Every dog who is chosen and trained to be a K9 soldier goes through boot camp at the 341st Military Working Dog Training Squadron in Texas.
Following One Unit
In 2014, a K9 unit comprised of 12 dogs came back from the war in the Middle East. Their specialty? Sniffing out the IEDs that could maim or kill our soldiers.
This unit was placed at Mount Hope Kennels in central Virginia for rehabilitation. What was supposed to be a short stay turned into 18 months and legions of red tape. The owner of Mount Hope, Greg Meredith, has spent approximately $150,000 caring for these soldiers.
What’s Happening Now?
Two groups, Mission K9 Rescue and U.S. War Dogs will converge on Mount Hope and scoop up the soldiers for a hoped-for reunion with their human handlers. If they cannot be found, an initiative will begin to find good homes for these deserving veterans.
Mission K9 Rescue and U.S. War Dogs
These non-profit organizations reason for being is to provide assistance to retiring and retired Military Working Dogs (MWD) and Contract Working Dogs (CWD) as well as any other dogs that serve.
Both rely on fundraising and volunteers to help fulfill their objectives. They help with transportation, professional assistance and adoption efforts to give these retired soldiers the best homes possible after serving their countries bravely.
Please visit the Mission K9 Rescue site or the U.S. War Dogs site and see how you can help these brave soldiers find forever homes.
Reference links: http://missionk9rescue.org/about-mission-k9-rescue/