U.S. Army war dogs deserve better than to be neglected or put down after their tour of duty is finished


Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/03/07/u-s-army-war-dogs-deserve-bet.html


Considering that the VA constantly mishandles veterans’ welfare issues, it doesn’t seem surprising that some office would screw up the situation for these dogs, too.

These dogs seem like emblems of the unity soldiers aspire to, and their selfless courage must go right to the heart of anyone working with them (plus of course, they’re all good dogs). A relative of mine served in the military working with a dog, and it was to say the least not easy when his tour ended and he had to leave the dog behind.


That just makes no damn sense. I suppose there might be some logical reason for this that isn’t immediately obvious, but I can’t see it.


If I had to guess, it would have to do with not promising surplus government property to a given person upon it being declared surplus. There’s a mighty good reason for that to be a blanket rule, but obviously this is the sort of thing that needs a legislative fix.


Even better, let’s stop sending humans and dogs to unnecessary wars and then it won’t be an issue!


It’s not “surplus government property”, though, I’m sure some dumbicrat in the government classified them as such.

“We’ve invested YEARS of training in those dogs, we can’t just GIVE them away.” or some other ridiculous blather.


I am guessing that depending on what they were trained for and what might trigger them into being dangerous in the general population.

ETA reading the article, yeah I know… It looks like bureaucratic screw up at it’s finest… which considering the army should be a given.


I’m not editorializing here – other than in the negative – about what the Pentagon is doing, it’s just that there’s often some specific logic that creates these bizarre, unjust edge cases.


Pretty sure nearly every former handler would jump at the chance to take their dog home.


Yeah, I’m not sure why their handlers, who ought to know the best way to, y’know, handle their dogs get passed over in favor of civilians who may not have the necessary chops.


If you think about it even a little, a dog does not think of itself as any body’s “property”, that’s just a convenient shorthand that humans use to keep track of consistent care giving. Yet the military is notorious for neglecting its temporary human property, so yeah, no real surprise here.


… absolutely working its way toward some major karma payback.


Definitely the 9th circle.

Shout out to good people working the problem:



A friend of mine served as K9 handler in the Norwegian defence force and their dogs were well treated, but they never ever gave away or retired trained military dogs. They were considered live weapons and much to dangerous to be handed over to civilians. I do not know specifically what was done with the dogs after they were no longer fit for service, but I don’t think civilian life was ever an option.


U.S. Army war dogs deserve better than to be U.S. Army war dogs.


They don’t treat loyal, obedient people too good once they’re of no more use to them either.



This is probably the only context in which I think the military should have released the dogs of war sooner. Very sad.


Why do you think they would treat the canine veterans any better than the human ones?


War dogs should not be a thing. Either should police dogs.

Either teach dogs to carry and use firearms, or get them off the field of fire.

I don’t care how gallant you make their funerals. You used an animal that can’t consent to kill, maim, and hurt.

Fuck humans.


Well, that is precisely the language they use to describe soldiers and vets like me, so…