When a dog isn't a dog
A U.S. Army soldier and his military working dog jump off the ramp of a Chinook helicopter during water training over the Gulf of Mexico
January 6th, 2012
01:55 PM ET

When a dog isn't a dog

By CNN National Security Producer Jennifer Rizzo

When an insurgent rocket attack badly injured Cpl. Dustin Lee while he was on patrol in Iraq, his shrapnel-impaled partner, Lex, picked himself up to lie over Lee - an effort to protect him.

"He knew Dustin was injured," said Lee's mom, Rachel. Lex was his bomb-sniffing dog.

Lee didn't survive his injuries, but Lex did - and became a part of the Lee family when Rachel adopted him.

"When Dustin was killed, one of the first things I asked about was Lex, because of their camaraderie. They depended on each other"

Lex, a German shepherd, served in the Marines as a military working dog.

There are about 2,700 dogs serving worldwide, according to the Defense Department. Roughly 600 of these dogs are deployed in designated war zones overseas, including Afghanistan, areas of Africa and Kuwait.

These "war dogs" are used on patrols, in drug and explosives detection, and on specialized missions, like the Navy SEAL raid that took down Osama bin Laden last year.

But while these dogs walk side by side with their troop handlers or go on jumps from helicopters in service members' arms, the Defense Department classifies military working dogs as "equipment," a term that advocates want changed.

"These dogs are more soldiers than they are equipment," said Debbie Kandoll, founder of Military Working Dog Adoptions.

Kandoll, who helps civilians adopt military working dogs, estimates that the average war dog saves 150 soldier lives during its service.

Dogs have been serving in military conflicts since World War I, returning home after the conflicts ended. But thousands of dogs were left behind during the Vietnam War. Of the roughly 4,900 dogs that the United States used in Vietnam, around 2,700 were turned over to the South Vietnamese army, and a staggering 1,600 were euthanized, according to veteran and former Marine dog handler Ron Aiello.

"Equipment you can leave behind," Kandoll said. "We've left tanks in Iraq. Everywhere we've been, we've left stuff. If you reclassify them as manpower, then you can't leave them."

Today, dogs are no longer left in war zones. In 2000, President Bill Clinton signed a law that allowed the dogs to be adopted by former handlers, law enforcement agencies and civilians. But Kandoll says this law didn't go far enough and is pushing for an amendment to include the reclassification of war dogs.

U.S. Rep. Walter Jones, R-North Carolina, agrees that a new classification is needed to elevate the "solider dog." Jones has been working on a bill that would reclassify the dogs as "K-9 members of the armed forces" and provide a way for the Defense Department to honor the dogs with official medals.

"Those who have been to war tell me that the dogs are invaluable," he said. "That they are just as much a part of a unit as a soldier or Marine. They are buddies."

Jones has submitted the proposed legislation to the Congressional Budget Office for a cost review. A response is expected by mid-February.

Despite the classification, the military says the dogs are respected.

"While there is a proper, legal classification for a working dog, we know they are living things, and we have great respect and admiration for them," said Lackland Air Force Base spokesman Gerry Proctor. The dogs are trained at Lackland. "A handler would never speak of their dog as a piece of equipment. The dog is their partner. You can walk away from a damaged tank, but not your dog. Never."

But if the dogs are retired on an overseas base, the military will not provide for their transportation back home, a practice that Kandoll says is like leaving them behind.

"The day the dog is retired, the dog is considered excess equipment and not entitled to any transport back," she said.

When a dog is retired on an overseas base and is adopted by someone in the United States, the adopter is charged the dog's shipping cost, which can be up to $2,000.

"It is essentially the same as a government surplus sale," Proctor said. "If the government has a surplus sale in Ramstein, Germany, and sells you a truck, then should the American taxpayer be on the hook to get that truck back to your house in Atlanta? The government doesn't own it once you buy it."

"That doesn't make sense to me," said Aiello, who thinks the military should wait to retire a dog until it's back in the United States. This way, it will be entitled to transportation benefits.

Kandoll says the cost to the taxpayer to send the dogs home would be minimal.

"We have half-empty military cargo transport planes transversing the globe daily. It would be more than feasible to place a retired military working dog on the transport plane back to the continental United States," Kandoll said. "Uncle Sam got them over there, and it's a point of honor for Uncle Sam to get his soldiers, whether they are four-legged or two-legged, back to the U.S."

But once home and placed with an adoptive family, medical bills are sure to stack up. Many of these retired dogs are more than 9 years old and are plagued with battlefield issues such as arthritis and even post-traumatic stress disorder. The Defense Department, Kandoll says, should allow military veterinarians to treat retired dogs.

A dog's medical history however is made clear during the adoption process, according to the Defense Department.

"So they go into it eyes wide open," Proctor said. "If you buy that truck, how far do you want the American taxpayer to be on the hook for the truck's oil changes and tuneups for its life?"

A one-month supply of all the medication the dog needs is also given to the adopter to ensure that the adoptive family has enough time to procure veterinary care for the animal, according to Proctor.

The brave dog Lex that stayed by his handler's side until the end is now 11 years old. He is doing well but has PTSD and pieces of shrapnel that cause spinal complications, Rachel Lee said.

"To be able to reclassify them would be to also get them help in a better manner," Lee said. "To be able to have them looked at differently - as a vet, as a soldier and to give them benefits."

Post by:
Filed under: Afghanistan • Iraq • Middle East • Military
soundoff (1,632 Responses)
  1. DogsBestFriend

    TOO BAD as much concern isn't given to what happens to PEOPLE during WAR

    January 7, 2012 at 7:25 am | Reply
  2. Call of Duty Guy

    Dogs aren't equipment. They are a kill streak reward.

    January 7, 2012 at 7:20 am | Reply
  3. Bill

    Divide and Conquer.

    Argue amongst yourselves, sheeple.

    January 7, 2012 at 7:18 am | Reply
  4. Shawn Irwin

    I think if dogs even being used for man's wars as abuse . . . this is an old primitive tradition, use dogs, horses or whatever to battle your enemy. Do some research on how many horses were killed in WWI, and it is astounding. Animals do not have the capacity to make a choice whether they go to war or not, and, no nothing of the "enemy", other than what they are trained to do against the "enemy". This is no different than using children for war.

    January 7, 2012 at 7:17 am | Reply
  5. astone3

    Have had a few dogs in lifetime but the most current is the best example of unconditional love and loyality not to mention intelligence. And yes, dogs do have a soul as all animals and sometimes I really wonder who has been given the greater gift man with brain or animal with instinct!

    January 7, 2012 at 7:11 am | Reply
  6. Vernon Oneil

    Civilians are not quite in the loop on this one. US Army Working Dogs are considered Soldiers. They are Medically Evacuated in the same manner as are human Soldiers. They carry and earn rank as do human Soldiers. They are not equipment and are not expendable. They are highly trained and part of the team. We have had on MWD (Military Working Dog) killed in action during this deployment. Look up SFC Akbar. Again, his picture is right next to all of our other Heros on the wall.

    January 7, 2012 at 6:27 am | Reply
    • Jeanie

      Vernon, A United States Army Veteran i(she was a Veterinary Technician for almost 5 years taking care of MWDs until she was medically discharged. She adopted 2 retired MWDs, who have now crossed the Rainbow Bridge) is working with Congressman Jones drafting the bill. If you haven't read the latest draft, please go on Facebook to Help Get Military Working Dogs Medical Benefits and it's sister page Military Working Dog Assistance Organizatin. All the work behind the bill and the various drafts can be found there.

      January 7, 2012 at 8:24 am | Reply
  7. Christopher

    The dog pictured jumping from the chopper above is a Belgian Malinois not a German Shepherd.

    January 7, 2012 at 6:06 am | Reply
    • ThatGuy

      That is a famous photo... not to be directly related to the article. Congrats on your superb correction of nothing

      January 7, 2012 at 6:42 am | Reply
      • Christopher

        What's with the attitude?...I've seen this famous photo mislabeled many,many times. You sound to be a very miserable person to be around...Reach around and remove the wedgie from your buttcrack and see if that helps.

        January 7, 2012 at 8:47 am |
  8. Jeff Davis

    I like it when police dogs attack nigras.

    January 7, 2012 at 5:52 am | Reply
    • NMEast

      You are a disgusting piece of humanity. A waste of good airspace.

      January 7, 2012 at 6:16 am | Reply
    • Tewrobert

      They do this because they sense evil....Not the dogs fault or Mr Jeff Davis

      January 7, 2012 at 7:23 am | Reply
  9. TreehuggingSocialist54321

    I can't believe we send these poor defenseless animals to these horrid countries to do the bidding of our government. I heard that once they are retired, they have their teeth clipped off because they were used to bite dirty savages.
    I for one will not stand for it. I will do my part and go outside and hold up a sign saying "free the animals from their human oppressors!" I won't stop until canines are shown the respect that humans deserve. People need to stop being so mean. Everybody always has to be mean and take it out on the poor little animals.

    January 7, 2012 at 5:49 am | Reply
    • Mel

      I have an Irish Wolfhound and a Great Dane I know would not like you very much. Around me they are warm and cuddly and affectionate, but around someone like you.........let's just say they can be real mean tempered. If you were a real tree hugger, they would probably lick your face, but a fascist posing as a tree hugger, well, my dogs don't like phonies. In fact, I can often tell when I am standing next to an undesirable human type by the way they show their teeth and the growling noises they make!

      January 7, 2012 at 6:17 am | Reply
    • JanineC

      Hey lefty, why don't you put your energy into saving the millions of animals that are abused at home? All the rotten people who truly do abuse, neglect and abandon animals to be left to starve or much worse...Think of all the poor dogs who are forced to fight and people chop off their ears with scissors or rubber bands. Then because they may have been trained to fight, they are put down because they can't be adopted out. Those animals are truly in need of rescuing and saving. If and when you take care of them, then maybe I will listen to you.

      January 7, 2012 at 7:37 am | Reply
      • Mel

        Lefty isn't really a lefty. I suspect he is actually a right wing fascist posing as a lefty. Hear the dripping sarcasm in his words? Reincarnation of Atila the Hun!

        January 7, 2012 at 7:59 am |
    • fella77

      Your an idiot..plain and simple..you are also probubly a mike Vic fan too...shithead..

      January 7, 2012 at 8:08 am | Reply
  10. Dan

    Is this the right time to ask why the the superdogs aren't wearing high tech shootem up army gear. After all I'd bet all dog owners/waterers would say their fido is smarter than a 19 year old human...

    January 7, 2012 at 5:46 am | Reply
    • Jeff Davis

      They are certainly smarter than the average bestial nigra.

      January 7, 2012 at 6:01 am | Reply
      • JanineC

        Spoken like a true an ignorant bigot. My dog's IQ is 100 times higher than any racist bigot.

        January 7, 2012 at 7:40 am |
    • Frangible

      Actually, both police and military dogs get body armor. Their eyes are about as good as a night vision scope. And their nose beats any technology developed.

      January 7, 2012 at 8:26 am | Reply
  11. Francis J. O'Reilly

    I was fascinated to learn that the dogs also earn rank. Often they outrank theri handlers.

    January 7, 2012 at 5:38 am | Reply
    • jklapper

      They are always one rank higher than their handlers.

      January 7, 2012 at 6:27 am | Reply
      • cocopuf

        That is for real !

        January 7, 2012 at 8:22 am |
    • jlhutchk9

      The only dogs that earn rank are unit mascots. MWDs have no formal rank..the MYTH that MWDs have a rank is a great story to tell the dudes you are supporting, but on the DD 1834 (MWD Service Record) there is no space for rank, awards or any type of Military Status other than NSN (National Stock Number).

      January 7, 2012 at 10:04 pm | Reply
  12. Dan

    Let's fix the human race as best we can, as safely as we can with war and all. Then and only then start crying to Ohpra about your dogs. Do you feel the same about fluffy Fido going to war as your sons ? I don't nor do I need animal stories to keep me watching the wars on T. V... and dollars to donuts I can hear the same crowd yelping if K-9 were not part of the military. Sure K-9 in the military is interesting but the rest is just dog Krap

    January 7, 2012 at 5:34 am | Reply
  13. 4commonsensenow

    I was hitchhiking when I was young man, coming out of a logging camp after a contract. Didn't own a vechile. I got picked up by an angel or god, something along those lines.Out of the conversation was something that stuck for so long, but never had come to light. I was told all about the benefits of having a dog. A dog is protection.The reason why a dog is protection(when not abused) is because of unconditional love. Love being the keyword in that sentence. Even if your not right at the time, your dog will be. It's the protection of love that walks with you and the gift is from god himself. To make it simple for any1 did't grasp that. God spealt backwards spells what? Peace and have a safe day

    January 7, 2012 at 5:32 am | Reply
  14. mike z

    The letters G.I. means "General Issue " people or animals in the military, the name speaks for itself!!!

    January 7, 2012 at 5:12 am | Reply
  15. poopinmouth123


    January 7, 2012 at 4:59 am | Reply
  16. Mel

    To quote Wanda Sykes:" Ladies, we should stop calling men 'dogs.' I mean it ladies, we need to stop calling men dogs. It just isn't right..................DOGS ARE LOYAL!"

    January 7, 2012 at 4:46 am | Reply
  17. It's Just Me

    Proctor needs to remove their head from their butt and stop contradicting themselves.

    They start bya saying, "While there is a proper, legal classification for a working dog, we know they are living things, and we have great respect and admiration for them." Then later on they can be clearly seen comparing the dog to a piece of equipment, with comments like:

    "It is essentially the same as a government surplus sale," Proctor said. "If the government has a surplus sale in Ramstein, Germany, and sells you a truck, then should the American taxpayer be on the hook to get that truck back to your house in Atlanta? The government doesn't own it once you buy it."

    Then, further on:

    "So they go into it eyes wide open," Proctor said. "If you buy that truck, how far do you want the American taxpayer to be on the hook for the truck's oil changes and tuneups for its life?"

    Pretty wishy-washy if you ask me, but given that they provided detailed comparisons of a dog to piece of equipment, then I believe it's safe to say that they do indeed look at the dogs as being equipment, nothing more. Even though they began by saying that they don't.

    January 7, 2012 at 4:32 am | Reply
    • Jason

      I agree, he says they have respect for the dogs as living creatures, but then he is unwilling to pay for the consequences. We should pay for all of a dog's medical needs until it dies because it was us who decided to train that dog and put it in harms way. If we are not willing to do that then we should not use dogs in this way.

      January 7, 2012 at 4:45 am | Reply
      • xeres

        They are dogs, regardless. Why should my tax paying money be spent on something that is expendable. Instead of the dog's retrun trip and medical costs and all the other things, why not give those money you use on pets to help someone's college tutition money whether in U.S. or around the world. Why not help orphanages in third world countries rather than give a stupid pet a $10k vet insurance?

        Humanity First.

        January 7, 2012 at 5:08 am |
      • Jason

        If you feel that way then it would make even more sense to not even train the dogs at all and save even more money. Imagine how many kids we can send to college with the thousands of dollars saved not even training the dogs! This is a moral question, not a financial one. You can disagree with me that dogs are worthy of such consideration but don't sit there and lecture me about how much money it costs when my concern is to not cause more suffering in the world. You may believe dogs are expendable, but I don't, so go blabber about that elsewhere.

        January 7, 2012 at 5:16 am |
      • John

        @Xeres – Those dogs have done more in the service of our country than 95% of the population. They did so without ever being asked if they would like to or not. Why don't you walk down to the local Red Cross and volunteer 1 day a week. Put humanity first as you say. Put the rest of humanity over yourself. The dogs did.

        January 7, 2012 at 5:34 am |
      • Irene

        That's what the dogs should answer: "We didn't start any wars. Why do we have to die for human greed and politics, save 150 of humans on average over our lifetime only to get betrayed and abandoned? Go sniff your own mine fields and we won't ask for any benefits."

        "Humanity" IS indeed first and at its best. Why don't we abandon the retired military bureaucrats wherever their retirement age hits them? In some jungle or desert outside of the military base fence...

        January 7, 2012 at 6:37 am |
      • Tewrobert

        I am all for bringing them home. Each and everyone...Its the least we can do for them..
        Leaving them behind is animal abuse,. Arrogant at its worst...
        I would be proud to have one to care for and give him all the care he or her needs........

        January 7, 2012 at 7:31 am |
      • vertac

        @xeres do you even read your own post? Humanity first? Do you understand the purpose of an army? It is to destroy Humanity. Humanity's institutions, such as third world orphanages and colleges, are destroyed in the process. If you're that concerned about Humanity, money, and your tax dollars, perhaps you should protest the obscene amount of money spent on the wars meant to destroy Humanity, rather than quibbling over a pathetic sum of 10K meant to restore a little of that Humanity you seem to hold in such high regard.

        January 7, 2012 at 7:47 am |
      • Jeanie

        Your tax payer money will not be used with Congressman Jones' bill. There is a copy of the draft on Facebook at Help Get Military Working Dogs Medical Benefits. Money for medical bills will come ONLY from IRS 501(3)(c) organization. Transportation will be via donated frequent flyer miles, just like people can do now for wounder members of our military and their families.

        January 7, 2012 at 7:48 am |
  18. Clinton

    I think we got bigger problems in our country then what a military dog is classified as.

    January 7, 2012 at 4:31 am | Reply
    • Jason

      Yeah, you know, because we have never been able to do more than one thing at a time in this country...

      January 7, 2012 at 4:43 am | Reply
    • Leif

      The biggest problem we have is when it comes to respecting life.

      January 7, 2012 at 5:19 am | Reply
    • vertac

      Agree with Jason. Lets start with the education system that cant seem to churn out people who can work on more than one problem at a time

      January 7, 2012 at 8:15 am | Reply
  19. G Edwards

    I appreciate their service and what they mean to their handlers and those they save. But unless government is willing to treat civilian pets in the same manner – they're more than property – this would be inappropriate. Why should government dogs get special treatment over companion dogs, service animals, or just plain Fido, which are considered no less of the family to those who own them?

    January 7, 2012 at 4:15 am | Reply
    • Leif

      Because we taxpayers are responsible for how our money is spent.

      January 7, 2012 at 4:25 am | Reply
      • Jeanie

        Leif, Tax payers will not be paying for medical bills or flying. Donations will be made via 501(c)(3) organizations, transportation will be by miles donated from frequent flyers.

        January 7, 2012 at 7:50 am |
    • Jason

      If we train dogs to do this and then put them in harms way we would be remiss to abandon them. We would not accept it if a person harmed their companion animal and then did not take responsibility. Unless a person is actively for harming animals I do not see how it would be possible to allow dogs to be used in this way and then discarded.

      January 7, 2012 at 4:48 am | Reply
    • Mel

      Companion dogs and Service dogs often do get special treatment, a lot better treatment than military dogs do. Would be nice if they were only treated as well as companion and service dogs!

      January 7, 2012 at 4:52 am | Reply
    • G Edwards

      My point is that laws currently compensate someone for the loss of their pet as though it was property - your neighbor poisons your dog, you can sue for a hundred bucks or so to buy a new one. No different than if they slash the tires on your car. No emotional distress, not loss of companionship, no other compensation in the eyes of the law (read: in the eyes of the government).

      My issue is that the gov't shouldn't be elevating gov't animals above civilian animals. That's too typical where the gov't makes exceptions for themselves, rather than applying it to Jane and Joe Citizen.

      January 7, 2012 at 5:00 am | Reply
      • Mel

        That is about to change. People have been thrown in jail for animal cruelty. Even champion NFL football players have served time in jail for abusing dogs, and laws are getting tougher all over the country. The collective consciouness in this country is definiely rising to a higher level in regards to the treatment of animals!

        January 7, 2012 at 5:24 am |
      • Dawn

        In Minnesota, my state, if somebody kills or tortures an animal, there are strict penalties that include fines and prison time. The consequences for poisoning the neighbor's dog or killing your former lover's pet depend on where you live.

        I favor bringing the dogs back to the States and giving them good homes, with the handler or the handler's family at the top of the list for potential owners. There would be no added expense as transport planes support our soldiers everywhere they are stationed.

        January 7, 2012 at 5:53 am |
      • vertac

        G Edwards, the government already does elevate the status of gov't dogs over civilian dogs. In most jurisdictions, if an individual injurs or kills a dog that is an active member of law enforcement, in the perfomance of their duty, that individual will be charged accordingly, and the penalties are severe. It wont be a lesser charge of cruelty.

        January 7, 2012 at 8:27 am |
      • Frangible

        If I ever found the asshole who killed my dog, he would have met with a very unfortunate and seemingly random fatal accident. Ooops! There wouldn't have been any idiot court suit for $100. Luckily for him, the coward ran.

        January 7, 2012 at 8:33 am |
      • G Edwards

        You've addressed the penalty to the perpetrator, not the compensation possible to the owner. The penalty is not the topic at hand. Pets are still considered no different than inanimate property by the gov't. IMO the gov't saying, "certain animals are more than just animals - that is as long as they've belonged to the gov't" is wrong.

        The 8-year-old autistic child whose service animal allows her to function. Or the blind man who's guide dog gives him independence and allows him to hold a job. Or the lonely and forgotten elderly woman whose cat gives her a sense of purpose and a reason to live. Try explaining to them why their animals are worth no more than the couch they're sitting on.

        If the gov't is going to create a superior class of animals, it needs to be universal and apply to civilian animals as well.

        BTW, thinking that "it's about to change" is wishful thinking.

        January 7, 2012 at 8:38 am |
      • vertac

        No, I addressed the status of government dogs over civilian dogs, which was your conclusion and topic at hand. I used the penalties concept to highlight that elevated status.

        And although someone else mentioned " it's about to change", I will respond because it is more than wishful thinking. There is a case currently before the Texas court of appeals that is at the heart of this very issue. A plaintiff unsuccessfully sued a shelter worker over the loss of their dog to include more than just "property" cost. They were able to overturn the ruling to recover sentimental cost, and the appeals court acknowledged that dogs are more than just property.

        January 7, 2012 at 9:14 am |
    • celida

      Because Fido, your Shiztu/Pomeranian mix who can barely climb into your bed let alone SAVE anything can't sniff out insurgents you moron!!! These are highly trained members of the armed forces.. that's like saying, I retire from the Navy in Turkey and I'm no longer an American Citizen and I can't come home... These aren't inanimate objects! These dogs SAVE SOLDIER'S LIVES....

      January 7, 2012 at 5:07 am | Reply
      • G Edwards

        Good, mature response, celida.

        To the 80-year-old women, who's only "friend" in life is that Shiztu/Pomeranian mix, yes, I would say it's enriched her life to the point of saving it and making it worthwhile. The bond is certainly no less than with MWDs. In your case it may be a stress-relieving dog that will calm you and possibly save your life by reducing your blood pressure, or causing you to avoid emotionally lashing out at someone.

        January 7, 2012 at 5:13 am |
  20. Leif

    Dogs are not equipment. We don't have to treat them as though they are full fledged human citizens,
    but we surely owe them more than we do to a potted plant. Maybe we should invent a new area of legal
    expertise–common sense and decency.

    January 7, 2012 at 4:14 am | Reply
  21. Rent A Yenya

    Send Air Force 1 for the dogs! Let Michelle Obama walk to Hawaii.

    January 7, 2012 at 3:59 am | Reply
    • semp

      Yup ... I don't she be real tight with Jesus; so swimming be more like it.

      January 7, 2012 at 5:49 am | Reply
    • Tewrobert

      Her Hubby acted like he could walk om water when he was down here on th beach trying to part the waters..

      We could give Michelle a feather.......she could still fly

      January 7, 2012 at 7:42 am | Reply
    • JanineC

      I can go for that! Actually, she can take a plane but I prefer she paid her own way for vacation.

      January 7, 2012 at 7:44 am | Reply
  22. Midnight

    Good Evening/Morning.
    I've read many of these postings, it would seem some of you are getting lost in translation. This is not an ethical, moral or monitary debate on the matter at hand. It is a debate which is to provide transportation back to the states and medical care for the MWD's.
    It would be no drain on cost for the military to load the dogs in kennels and fly them back on a B52 or similar cargo plane, given the compacity of the plane I don't see any issue with transporting a medium/large sized dog. I'm readily sure that cargo planes transport goods daily for the military already. As for the Vet Care for these animals there should be no issue there, it would seem when a disaster happens in the states funds are generated/found to not only care for people and animals ( farm animals included) but also rehome them, why not for a few dogs that retire from our military.
    The adoptor should pick up the tab on the animal, I couldn't expect to see a half dead abandonded dog on the street get vet care for the rest of its life, the adoptors know the conditions and if you care, then cost shouldn't be an issue. The idea is to provide a comfortable living condition for the animal where none existed before.
    I'm half amazed at the ignorance of some of the comments on this thread, it is true that not every dog personality is a loving, caring and loyal one. These are working dogs, they do require knowladgeable handlers/owners and understand the risks that you are getting in to when you adopt one. As for Vets posting here, remember that the " Crazy Dog People" pay your salary so you can put food on the table and a roof over your head ( possibly kibble in the dog bowl) so be kind in your choice of words.
    If no options exist, at least give these working dogs, soliders that protect your freedoms and way of life an honnerable way out. Not being abandoned on the street side where they will get stoned, tourchered and possibly worse until they die broken and alone.
    I've nothing further to say on this matter....just food for thought really.

    January 7, 2012 at 3:41 am | Reply
    • Leif

      I more ore less agree with you, but your opening statement weakens your own argument. Of course it is a moral/ethical issue. Dogs are not equipment. It is as simple as that.

      January 7, 2012 at 4:05 am | Reply
    • harlequin

      Actually as I've come understand it from ecologists and zoologists the correct term for these poor creatures is not working dogs, but service dogs. And there is a difference in the definitions of the two types. But I will not get into that here. What disturbs me the most about this article it that seemingly the argument is whether or not they should be termed as equipment. And the fact is that GI = Government Issue. So for me as a dog lover I only have a problem with the term
      " Working Dogs." These are service dogs. They are spayed and neutered dogs. Working dogs are in most cases bred for specific types of work. For example border collies or huskies. These types of dog breeds are almost never neutered or spayed if they are to be real working dogs and not pets. The same doesn't go for service dogs. It doesn't mean that these animal that have served should not be treated humanly or worthy of honor. Because quite definitely they are worthy of both. Just beware that human soldiers are termed as "Government Issue" so don't be surprised that dogs aren't treated better.

      January 7, 2012 at 4:13 am | Reply
      • JanineC

        I am getting a headache...

        January 7, 2012 at 7:46 am |
    • Apache111w

      A B52? Really?? That isn't a cargo plane. Something tells me you have never served in the military and/or have never deployed before... so how in the hell would you know if it's feasible to load these dogs up in kennels and throw them on a plane back to the states. You clearly don't know the logistics involved. While I agree it's the military's responsibility to return these animals to the states to be given a reasonable chance to be a adopted by a caring family, I don't agree with people, such as yourself, who think you know everything about everything because you watch the news.
      Also these "Crazy Dog People" that you speak of (I'm assuming you mean the taxpayers), do not pay the military's salary. Don't fool yourself into thinking that you (a civilian) have any idea what is going on with anything in the military or have any control over what we do. There's a reason for that and there's a reason why it's remained that way even with your savior president in power. Please remain in your lane... whether it be with finance, engineering, or a mcdonalds cashier.

      January 7, 2012 at 4:31 am | Reply
      • StandDownApache

        Actually, Apache111w, he's your president as well, not to mention your boss. Before you start throwing around statements like you do, read your Constitution – this isn't some Central American country, run by the military junta.

        And the following is rides the edge of disloyalty to your country, it's not even funny: "Also these "Crazy Dog People" that you speak of (I'm assuming you mean the taxpayers), do not pay the military's salary. Don't fool yourself into thinking that you (a civilian) have any idea what is going on with anything in the military or have any control over what we do."

        Don't fool yourself into thinking you're any more in charge of anything than the platoon you run, either. Speaking of 'sticking to your lane' – stand down, soldier. Remember, Jack Nicholson was THE BAD GUY in "A Few Good Men," not a role model.

        So they got the plane wrong. I'm a DOD _civilian_, and I can tell you, canine retirees could be put on a damn plane and flown back to the US. There's plenty of room for cargo, and plenty of room to run the Space-A program, so perhaps a 'vet' could get a ride back to the US when his working career is over.

        January 7, 2012 at 4:54 am |
      • Mel

        My husband flew C-141s during the Vietnam War and there frequently was lots of room on those flights for dog kennels, and lots of volunteers willing to care for the dogs during the flight! Of course, my husband was just an aircraft commander, so what would he know about flying CARGO WHEN YOU ARE SUCH A MILITARY GENIUS ABOUT THESE THINGS!

        January 7, 2012 at 5:17 am |
      • Jason

        What the hell dude? Way to completely miss the point. So what if a civvy doesn't know exactly how things get done. They know that planes carry stuff, including dogs, and that those planes carry dogs all over the world. Who the hell cares what kind of plane you fly the dog home on. Just put the dog on a damn plane send it home. Honestly, soldiers do what they are told to do, and they are proud of it.

        January 7, 2012 at 5:22 am |
      • Apache111w

        Thank DoD civilian and wife of a guy who flew a plane. I love getting a rise out of you people!

        January 7, 2012 at 5:35 am |
      • Mel

        By "savior" president, do you mean the president who gave the orders to capture Osama Bin Laden and other high ranking Al Qaida operatives and gave the job to the Navy Seals who got it done? Or were you talking about the president who a year after 911 and a year after he promised to go get Osama Bin Laden, had a change of heart and stated to a room full of journalists that he did not care where the hell Osama Bin Laden was and was no longer trying to locate him! and seven years later he had not yet captured him?

        January 7, 2012 at 5:49 am |
      • Mel

        My husband did not fly A plane. He flew lots of different planes during his years in the Air Force. Actually, Apache, it sounds to me like YOU don't know or understand what goes on in the military. Otherwise you would have known that all kinds of aircraft get used to haul things around, things far less important than canines that served our troops overseas. Navy Seals! The Current President of the United States! Oh my, Apache! I am sure your accomplishments far surpass any of them. Was that you stranding next to President Bush under the Mission Accomplished sign that day on the aircraft carrier? I thought I recognized you, you brave brave man!

        January 7, 2012 at 6:07 am |
    • Bill

      Dogs are food for thought and stomach in some countries..........

      January 7, 2012 at 4:43 am | Reply
    • BloodNThunder

      Thank you for wasting my time,,,,,, thanks

      January 7, 2012 at 7:45 am | Reply
  23. MD

    Dogs = equipment? Get real. Does equipment care if it's owner is suffering and risk it's life for someone else? The fact that dogs can save 150 lives is proof enough to show the intelligence, skill, compassion, and loyalty these animals are capable of. Not everyone can just save 150 lives – in fact many people aren't selfless enough to do so. Only a smart being with the capacity to feel, sense, act, react and love. Now, how can we dispose of such a being calling it equipment to save a few bucks? Isn't life worth more? To me that is the ultimate act of selfishness.

    January 7, 2012 at 3:06 am | Reply
    • Rover

      A dog is a dog. We are not people. We do not want to be people. Anyone who treats us like humans is insulting us. We want to live outside, like our ancestors did. And, which one of you decided that we want to be "paired up?" That is another foolish human social experiment created by humans who have no friends of their own and project their emptiness on to me and my peers. If I want a buddy to hand with, I'll go sniff one out at the local; fireplug and if you think I can't get a chick dog without you setting up an "appointment" like a politician visiting a call girl, you are loony tunes. Speaking of which,why do you always want to make us look stupid in cartoons?

      January 7, 2012 at 3:39 am | Reply
      • Killdeer

        get real idiot.

        January 7, 2012 at 4:15 am |
      • Leif

        When I see a human who mistreats a dog, I see a human who is capable of mistreating his neighbor, his friend, his brother or sister.

        January 7, 2012 at 4:22 am |
      • Butch

        Rover is not a dog. Rover is a human pretending to be a dog in order to voice the same useless human-centric drivel. Dogs are not human. However, dogs do have brains. Not every behavior or instinct a human is capable of is unique to humans alone. Get over yourselves all ready. You are animals too. Some behaviors are universal. Many species have them. So do not assume when people attribute supposedly "human" attributes to dogs or other animals, that they are "human-only". They may be "animal-only". Or "living thing with brain" only. Therefore, the dog or other animal is capable of those behaviors. Just as humans can act like rabid animals without having rabies. Stop acting like rabid dogs, humans. You neither have rabies, nor are a dogs. And since you are supposedly more intelligent and capable of loyalty, take care of all your veterans, human and otherwise.

        January 7, 2012 at 4:28 am |
  24. alfranken

    I've owned German Shepherds in North East China and it amazes me how much the Chinese respect a dog of this caliber even thou they raise mutts for food. But the women scurry at the sight of one and don't realize this dog shows the same respect and humanity to humans in return with much more intelligence than humans in many cases.
    It's too bad we are too slow to make the right moral choices. As bad as creating stupid wars without any forethought or care to the travesty we leave behind in the lives of others.

    January 7, 2012 at 2:56 am | Reply
    • JanineC

      Little black dog is a delicacy in China.

      January 7, 2012 at 7:49 am | Reply
  25. manji

    This makes me sick. These dogs are trained to save our lives and then you just leave them behind for the enemy
    to kill!!! Pets are a gift to us and they can and do save our lives, military or not. They're innocent and are a reflection
    of how we treat them, just like a child. I do not understand how anyone can intentionally abuse or kill an animal, unless
    it was trying to kill you. I imagine leaving a loyal pet behind to be killed is another reason for a solider to suffer from Post
    Traumatic Stress Syndrome.

    January 7, 2012 at 2:55 am | Reply
  26. ryan

    @ Vetx2
    Being a MWD handler I have first hand knowledge of what these dogs are capable of, but can say like humans no 2 dogs are the same. These dogs have served there country more then most. They save lives and die for a this great country. They serve along side men and women n the military. So don't lecture me on they have good and bad days. So do humans does they mean on bad days humans n the military should not b paid or can't use there benefits? Your speaking about them like u are a handler, but you already made clear your not. So don't talk about what you don't know. I have been working dogs for 4 years now and can tell you they do and put up with a lot. They suffer from issues like we do. They know no other life so we should honor them because they serve without question. So keep Ur I've seen comments to the story telling. Cause I See you know nothing about what these MWD's are about.

    January 7, 2012 at 2:48 am | Reply
    • john


      January 7, 2012 at 2:57 am | Reply
    • Vetx2

      I am sure you are very smart and have experienced many things. I don't know what they are as you don't know what I have seen and done. If you would like to give your animal your benefits...please do. I don't see animals as equal. This is my opinion...as you have one also.

      January 8, 2012 at 12:34 am | Reply
  27. john

    all of this (and I have not read ALL posts) are dumb stupid and very much uniformed....why don't any of you ask the men who are with these dogs 24/7....Fuck with them like you fuck with your fingers typing your pussy messages...I would love to see them stick their goverment issue up your pussy asses and pull the trigger...men die dogs die...how great for you

    January 7, 2012 at 2:45 am | Reply
    • nishant

      get a grip fruit cake.

      January 7, 2012 at 3:40 am | Reply
    • JanineC

      Having a breakdown???

      January 7, 2012 at 7:50 am | Reply
  28. Gozer the Gozerian

    I'd adopt one of these MWDs if I had the means. It seems a bit chickenscratch to train a dog and adapt it to a combat environment with all the stress and danger then just write it off using the feeble argument that transportation costs back to the US are prohibitive. Seriously? If we can ship millions of tons of armor and ordinance one way and leave it there, is the government really going to balk at a dog in a crate going back to the US? Let the dog's handler adopt it if nothing else. Adapt the dog to police use; bomb dogs are bomb dogs, and you can redirect his training to drug detection, I'd guess.

    If abandoning a dog by the roadside is punishable as animal cruelty, why not abandoning one in a foreign country where it's likely going to be killed out of spite?

    January 7, 2012 at 2:43 am | Reply
  29. Tyson

    These dogs aren't just animals, they are just as much soldiers as the humans they are partnered up with. I am willing to bet that the men that are with these dogs every day would feel the same.

    January 7, 2012 at 2:42 am | Reply
  30. Van

    I have sympathy for these dogs as they have worth and value ,if there can be one put on service dog`s.What concerns me also is what about the thousands of dog`s killed every year in police raids? If the government is spending thousands on an investigation justifing this level of intradiction then a few dollars more to save innocent dogs killed and sometimes winessed by children is cruelty which needs to be prevented. Why can`t there be alternatives used such as mace or tranquilizer to handle very sad situations such as this when the police are involved.

    January 7, 2012 at 2:31 am | Reply
    • mike

      They're working dogs, this is what they are bred to do, this is what they come to love to do. People have been breeding animals for thousands of years to do work or be leisure pets or whatever. Its the way it is. They are used to keep human lives out of harms way. Should we put people in more danger over an animal... and btw just so you dont think im insensitive to dogs, im not but their is a difference between a pet and a working animal that serves a much greater purpose and that needs to be remembered.

      January 7, 2012 at 2:42 am | Reply
  31. Mort

    It's similar to the question if to use animals in labs, only that in labs we hope to save human lives generaly and in war we hope to save ours and kill the enemy
    Read good articles on http://www.ariespost.com

    January 7, 2012 at 2:27 am | Reply
    • John

      Vivisection does not save lives..the majority of it is performed in order to protect corporations from law suits (think cosmetics, personal care products, etc).

      January 7, 2012 at 2:37 am | Reply
      • Robin Hamilton

        Exactly right John. Vivisection does not save human lives; it is a cruel, senseless business that is perpetuated purely by greed.

        January 7, 2012 at 5:07 am |
  32. Danny

    It like the diss wecusion o use lab animals. Only here we are using animal not.only to save lifes but also to kill others

    Good articles on http://www.ariespost.com

    January 7, 2012 at 2:19 am | Reply
  33. NYC@^

    Again, we are cutting back our military cause our economy is horrendous, and we worried about dogs? we do the best we can already, this is unnecessary cost, once we start treating like humans there's a price tag that will keep growing, this is just stupid.

    January 7, 2012 at 1:59 am | Reply
    • NDH

      NYC@^.....You ever serve in the military?

      January 7, 2012 at 2:37 am | Reply
    • Jason

      We are cutting back on the military because the two wars we have been fighting for a decade are coming to an end. How does it make sense for the military to keep getting bigger in that case?

      January 7, 2012 at 4:54 am | Reply
    • Jeanie

      NYC@^, The bill states that funding for medical bills will come from 501(c)(3) organizations and transportation from donated frequent flyer miles. Frequent flyer miles can now be donated for injured military and their families, it will be expanded to included MWDs when they are retired. On Facebook go to Help Get Military Working Dogs Medical Benefits for a copy of the latest draft of the bill.

      January 7, 2012 at 8:00 am | Reply
      • Lynn

        Why should the MWDs who are stationed and retired at PERMANENT bases overseas have to rely on DONATED FREQUENT FLYER MILES? Our government procured these dogs, trained them and assigned them to the oveseas stations. The government transported them OVER there...why should the RESPONSIBILTY for their transport BACK to the CONTINENTAL US be the responsilbility of PHILANTHROPIC folks?? It is the GOVERNMENT'S RESPONSIBILTY to get our American MWDs back home...PLAIN and SIMPLE!!!

        January 7, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
  34. Master at Arms Minor, Mark. V. USN

    How damn dare you Government killing those Hero K-9's !!!!! Give me your meanest toughest one and he or she will be licking Dr. Doolittle to death. I am way beyond disappointed in our Military and Government on Killing these Here's. This come on is a bad dream. Tell me so. Gawd Damn It! Give me everyone of these Hero's and I'll make them model citizen. If this is true November Election will be a walk in the park. ALL FORMER GONE!!!!!!!!!!

    January 7, 2012 at 1:58 am | Reply
    • So, apparently you can't read

      So, apparently you can't read...they killed the dogs in Vietnam, not the ones that serve today.

      January 7, 2012 at 2:23 am | Reply
      • pyramid

        Apprently he has no grasp of the English language either.

        January 7, 2012 at 6:35 am |
  35. Tito

    Near this Spot
    are deposited the Remains of one
    who possessed Beauty without Vanity,
    Strength without Insolence,
    Courage without Ferosity,
    and all the virtues of Man without his Vices.

    This praise, which would be unmeaning Flattery
    if inscribed over human Ashes,
    is but a just tribute to the Memory of
    who was born in Newfoundland May 1803
    and died at Newstead Nov. 18, 1808.

    January 7, 2012 at 1:53 am | Reply
  36. Rita

    I would rather go to war for dogs than humans. Their isn't a human population out their that has any good in them especially Americans. Dogs are kind, loyal and altruistic.

    January 7, 2012 at 1:47 am | Reply
    • NYC@^

      Can we take it easy with this, i love dogs and i'm sure the handlers do everything they can for these dogs, but at the end of the days i would pretty pissed off if money that could be allocated to disabled vets went to dogs, get real people, they are just DOGS.

      January 7, 2012 at 1:55 am | Reply
      • juscause

        They are living, breathing, and feeling beings. They only want love and attention from who they trust and will do anything and give anything to protect who and what they love..... sounds like honor and respect deserved to me. Sad that you only see a dog. But, you probably only know what you've been told and are not capable of seeing/feeling anything different. Sad!

        January 7, 2012 at 2:34 am |
      • Robin Hamilton

        They are just dogs? JUST DOGS?!!!!!!! Dogs serve and protect loyally in so many capacities besides war.
        You are clearly just a fool.

        January 7, 2012 at 4:23 am |
      • jklapper

        No, they are not "just dogs". They are VETERANS of the US Military and deserve to be treated as such.
        BTW, SGT, USArmy with 100% Service connected disability.

        January 7, 2012 at 6:42 am |
    • Waldo

      Rita – we'll just stop protecting the gloves interest then and let your two bit country slide back into anarchy or be taken over by its most hostile neighbor. Hope you like that.

      January 7, 2012 at 2:28 am | Reply
  37. jt

    As far as I am concerned, our veterans, human AND canine, are our responsibility and at an absolute minimum should be guaranteed a plane ticket home where they receive treatment and support until the end of their lives. I haven't supported a republican since fourth grade (I am 41), but in this case I am 100% behind U.S. Rep. Walter Jones.

    January 7, 2012 at 1:45 am | Reply
  38. Marla

    I am a disabled person who has the honor of having a service dog. He is a beautiful German Shepherd, much like the one pictured in this article. He is my partner and my helper. He is very much a part of our family, never thought of as just "equipment". He has flown on airplanes with me, and accompanies my husband and I to restaurants and motels.
    Any working dog deserves every privilege that we can give him.

    January 7, 2012 at 1:41 am | Reply
  39. Judy

    This mentality is typically male from the USA! Reflects in our killing of 3,4,5 million unwanted pets every year. It's sick, sick, sick!! These and other animals are children of the Universe as humans are too. They do what we want them to do and them are thrown away... typical USA thinking! SMARTEN UP, have compassion and kindness for ALL sentient beings... it's the only way this country will survive. Already we are in the toilet bowl. hanging on to the rim as the flushing begins...

    January 7, 2012 at 1:35 am | Reply
    • US guard

      No- this is female civilian USA mentality. Soldiers never leave their dogs-until one of them is dead.

      January 7, 2012 at 1:56 am | Reply
    • Waldo

      Judy – do you have any real experience with Americans? Are you certified in "USA male think" as you put it? I doubt it. I wish you had half the sense god gives a dog.

      January 7, 2012 at 2:33 am | Reply
      • cocopuf

        Next time you capitalize the "G" in God. ๐Ÿ™‚

        January 7, 2012 at 8:42 am |
    • JanineC

      Obviously the words of an overpropagandized reader of European (and maybe even some American) media. It is so easy to repeat the lies they are told over and over again...having no clue about what is true and what isn't.

      January 7, 2012 at 7:54 am | Reply
  40. eclectos

    Let's face it, the USG treats human veterans as used equipment, why should they treat dogs any differently. Both men and dogs give their all for their masters and get little in return for their loyalty, dedication, risk and years of hardship. And this from a serious dog lover.

    January 7, 2012 at 1:27 am | Reply
    • Bobby

      Isn't it how wives treat their husbands too? I find so much similar things

      January 7, 2012 at 1:58 am | Reply
    • juscause

      I hear ya! And sick they get away with it..... some Americans can't/won't ever understand what's really going on.

      January 7, 2012 at 2:41 am | Reply
  41. Terri

    It would be an honor to adopt a former canine soldier, regardless of any additional vet costs. Just tell us how.

    January 7, 2012 at 1:27 am | Reply
    • JayT


      January 7, 2012 at 1:36 am | Reply
      • Gozer the Gozerian

        Right on, Jay. Thanks for that link.

        January 7, 2012 at 2:48 am |
    • Lynn

      http://www.MilitaryWorkingDogAdoptions.com and click on the webpage : "How to Adopt a MWD". The website creator has made a step-b-step-guide, but you have to read the whole page...

      January 7, 2012 at 8:28 pm | Reply
  42. cmoore56

    Hell, YES!!!!!!!! The treatment of animals is reflected in the treatment of veterans. These dogs did NOT have any choice in what they did, but, I can promise you all, that if they did, the majority of them would NOT have wanted to have done what they did. Dogs, as all animals, are SENTIENT BEINGS!!! Look THAT up in your dictionaries! Bless their hearts: please, let them come home and be adopted and loved, as all sentient beings want.

    January 7, 2012 at 1:25 am | Reply
    • stop_trolling_please

      THEY'RE DOGS, who the heck cares that they are being used the way they are in the military or treated, it's not like they are being abused like Michael Vick's dogs.

      January 7, 2012 at 1:29 am | Reply
      • G.I. Joe

        Go fuck yourself.

        January 7, 2012 at 1:41 am |
      • Nesh

        Are you serious? Like you're being 100 % not joking? Yes they dont fight to the death like Mike Vicks dogs but you can not say that they're not being abused. American soldiers are being abused every day overseas and so are the dogs. Being put on the front lines, risking their lives everyday isn't abuse? Please read a book, educate yourself.

        January 7, 2012 at 1:48 am |
      • robert


        January 7, 2012 at 1:49 am |
      • juscause

        What? Vicks made dogs fight to the death for money for him..... how is this different? You probably think these dogs wanted to fight for no reason and die so some human could benefit and they never got to live or be loved. Just stop talking and voting..... you're the reason Bush got elected and buried our Country and the People..... ignorance!

        January 7, 2012 at 2:48 am |
      • Robin Hamilton

        stop_trolling_please ....neither you nor NYC@^ are as worthy as any dog on the planet!

        January 7, 2012 at 4:31 am |
      • JanineC

        Words from a real troll!!

        January 7, 2012 at 7:55 am |
    • robert

      sad...these dogs are devoted...trying to do what they are trained to....ready to lay their life down to protect...and we treat them as disposable "equipment"

      January 7, 2012 at 1:48 am | Reply
    • Phishkiss

      I beg to differ, dogs are among the worlds most loyal and work wanting beings on the planet, most dogs are thrilled to be able to help out, to have a job. If a dog could speak and the handler said, " hey buddy, im sorry but I got to go to military training." the dog would say, " don't leave me behind I wanna help, I wanna help.", Then as the handler becomes a bomb tech and tells his k-9 after training, " Thanks buddy you did good in training but I have to go into the warzone and do my job, its very dangerous, you better stay here where its safe." the dog would say " But, but? I go where you go!! I worked just as hard and I wanna help, I wanna go with you and do my job." Then as what happened above as the soldier lay dying with the dog also hit, the soldier said " We did good buddy, but im hit bad, im done for. Go on back to base, save yourself, you've been a good dog and a great friend." dog would say as he laid across his friend, " Don't worry, i'm right here."

      January 7, 2012 at 1:49 am | Reply
  43. Vetx2

    Are you kidding me? As a veteran and a person who likes animals...this is stupid. We wonder why we have so many misdirected government programs...this is a great example. Nothing against animal lovers...but benefits for military working animals? Wow...let's give them social security also. How about citizenship? Voting? Should we change UCMJ to authorize "relationships" also? Get a grip on reality America....this is stupid. Let's take care of real problems.

    January 7, 2012 at 1:21 am | Reply
    • ryan

      Why not we give illegals those rights. So u get a grip!

      January 7, 2012 at 1:28 am | Reply
      • Vetx2

        If you want to give illegals those rights...you have some serious issues. These are simply very highly trained animails. Some are loyal...some are not. Their are reasons many of these dogs are NOT adopted by their handlers....think about that for a few minutes. I have seen MWD (Military Working Dogs) that don't do their jobs also. I have seen some do very good jobs. Should we allow them to be buried in national cemeteries? This article only talkes about one side of this issue. Realize that is only political garbage to take the focus off of real problems.

        January 7, 2012 at 1:36 am |
    • Dan B.

      No offense but please read the article again and try to get the gist of it .. the only issue here is the demand for military dogs to be brought back to the states and rehabilitated thats all .. these dogs have served our country .. its only fair and morally right to help them lead a good life instead of just leaving them behind .. especially when we know that the place where they are being left behind is too unstable to care for humans let alone animals

      January 7, 2012 at 1:30 am | Reply
      • Vetx2

        having worked in clinics in Iraq and Afghanistan...I have seen what MWDs can do if they have a bad day – to US Servicemembers. Not all are sunshine and roses. They don't deserve to be destroyed, but not believe that they are Rin-Tin-Tin or Lassie. Recently a Soldier died from rabies after a dog bite because he believed the non-MWD was helping him. I like animals, but don't believe this is sound or logical from a fisical or operational stance.

        January 7, 2012 at 1:42 am |
      • Dan B.

        If you have served in the war theater then you obviously have more first-hand knowledge of the issues at hand than I probably do .. so I respect you for your opinion because it is based on some hard facts .. I also understand that life is not as rosy as many of us like to paint .. However, My arguments are merely based on what I feel and believe is the right thing to do .. its about being human

        The point that you raised about a rabied dog biting a soldier recently .. very sad but was it the dogs fault ?

        Is it reason enough to not bring them back and rehabilitate them? Forget the fiscal or operational stance, would we be doing the right thing by leaving them behind ?

        If you still support your original argument, then we just have different views with no common ground .. there would be no point in arguing any further .. people who care will continue to make this issue a priority and hopefully enable the passage of a law for better care for these animals

        January 7, 2012 at 1:57 am |
      • Vetx2

        I know for a fact that not a single MWD was left behind in Iraq or Afghanistan. I know when they (sadly) die in Iraq or Afghanistan – they are flown to the U.S. also. If someone has buried a U.S. Government MWD in a combat zone they are involation of military regulations – as of 2001 or 2002.
        The point with the rabies is that everyone seems to miss the point on that not all dogs in a combat zone are doing some sort of "good". Many Soldiers use "local" dogs on patrols as pseudo MWD....most end up causing more problems than they are worth. These stories make it back to the states without the whole truth being told. Only the story of how these dogs saved someone. From doing personal checks – from my military job – most are false. What is really happening is that these animals are being used as surrogates to control something external. I don't know what happenend in Vietnam or WWII, but currently the MWDs are treated better than anyone knows – without new laws.

        January 8, 2012 at 12:53 am |
    • I feel your rant, but...

      You are mistaken and misguided.

      How we treat our animals, our people, our elderly, the good we do WHEN WE DON'T HAVE TO is what DEFINES US.
      It is the ESSENCE of what makes us "America".

      That, and our attitude to torture and things like that. Not everything can be sacrificed on the altar of the almighty dollar.

      January 7, 2012 at 1:35 am | Reply
      • JanineC

        Right on!

        January 7, 2012 at 8:00 am |
    • juscause

      The point.... after these dogs serve Country and military member the person who takes the animal in should get the military to pay for vet services for the animal. Helps place the dogs that survive in homes and helps the people who take them in from major debt the military caused on the animal. Some Americans (people) just refuse to understand that life is more than just being human.

      January 7, 2012 at 2:58 am | Reply
    • JanineC

      Gee, why should we care about veterans...I mean, they're just people. /s

      They are not just dogs...they are not only good and loyal soldiers who served this country well, but they are also living, breathing and FEELING creatures–just like people are. Yes, they too are God's creatures.

      January 7, 2012 at 7:59 am | Reply
    • Jeanie

      Vetx2, If you go on Facebook to Help Get Military Working Dogs Medical Benefits you can read a copy of the latest draft of the bill. It specifically states that no benefits are given to our MWDs. Funding for payment of medical bills will come from 591(c)(3) organizations and transportation via donated frequent flyer miles, similar to what is done now for injured miitary members and their families.

      January 7, 2012 at 8:05 am | Reply
      • Vetx2

        Thank you for taking the time to atleast listen and consider another point of view. However, my issue/concern is that animals are not equal to people. The minute a MWD is given benefits or an award – I will request my next award be a "treat". This statment is over-dramatic, but I have seen people miss the point on what is wasteful by over-regulation. What is not being seen here is the $10,000s spent to just write the bill, possible military regulations, etc. At some point if it is important, we should have the personal expectation to do it ourselves. I help people by doing for them...not telling them they need a new law to give them something. In this case, we should look to do it ourselves without government oversight....just by doing it ourselves.

        January 8, 2012 at 12:42 am |
  44. Marco

    speechless... yes they should!!!

    January 7, 2012 at 1:15 am | Reply
  45. gq4u21bc

    Dogs rule!

    January 7, 2012 at 1:14 am | Reply
  46. Cathy

    If you want loyalty from a dog in war who will fight by a soldiers side til the very end then our government should be loyal in return and give medical benifits and some financial compensation for the dog. If the dog could talk he would probably say "I will fight and die for you Master, but please do right by me." We owe all those past dogs that were left behind and treat so badly in all our past wars. They didn't get any compensation for what they did to protect and serve our country and our brave men and women in the wars.

    January 7, 2012 at 1:12 am | Reply
  47. m

    Change the classification of these amazing service dogs. DO IT NOW!

    January 7, 2012 at 1:08 am | Reply
  48. jr

    I bet there were a lot of Vietnamese restaurants that know where all those "euthanized" dogs went!

    January 7, 2012 at 1:07 am | Reply
  49. Duckmanbill

    We're already cutting back military spending, and now you want to pay for dogs to have a free ride home and medals to await them? Sorry, I'd rather spend the money on adequate armor and Veterans rights.

    January 7, 2012 at 1:05 am | Reply
    • Mr. Buttesrs

      You are sick. These animals put their life on the line. They have served this country in more ways the average citizen has. To say they are anything less then soldiers is an insult. These dogs deserve the best life they can have. And you are worried about cost?

      January 7, 2012 at 1:12 am | Reply
      • cocopuf

        Do you think that the dog knows that his or her life is on the line? ... Frankly, I don't think so. All that the dog knows is what it has been trained for and always obeys their owner. Yes there most likely is a strong emotional ties between them; and so, that would be the logical humane reason to honor these dogs by returning them to their original place and being taken care of by volunteer families or by whomever can care for them. Retiring military trained dogs should have a FREE ticket to come home and enjoy it.

        January 7, 2012 at 9:19 am |
    • sandyman4090

      You clearly know nothing about defense budgeting. You think not spending the minimal amount of money for better treatment of these dogs would cause an increase in expenditures by our governemnt on veterans and equipment... NO.. These dogs save lives and thus money and should be afforded the minimal expense of better treatment, THEY are the reasons some Veterans are alive to be helped by our gov.

      January 7, 2012 at 1:13 am | Reply
    • Blink44

      It was stated that half empty planes fly all around the globe every day, so it wouldn't be any additional cost to bring the dog home on one of these planes.

      January 7, 2012 at 1:21 am | Reply
      • Apache111w

        Is that what "it" said or is that what "they" told you? I guess people do still take everything they read as complete truths instead of unfounded information being manipulated to act as evidence to validate what this writer is trying to convey. Don't you realize that this is what news agencies do now? News is not reality anymore.
        I read in a magazine that I was asian... I guess that means it's true because the magazine said so (even though I'm white)

        January 7, 2012 at 4:40 am |
    • cmoore56

      You obviously do not understand what it means to be a sentient being. Oh, and, BTW, you're an idiot.

      January 7, 2012 at 1:31 am | Reply
    • Duckmanbill

      U mad doglovers?

      January 7, 2012 at 1:47 am | Reply
      • sandyman4090

        No just commenting on your stupidity... you seem mad tho now that u mention it

        January 7, 2012 at 2:00 am |
    • jklapper

      These dogs ARE VETERANS. And like their human counterparts they deserve their Veterans rights to a ride home and service connected medical care.
      Again, I am a 100% disabled service connected Vet myself.

      January 7, 2012 at 6:49 am | Reply
    • Jeanie

      Duckmanbill, Unfortunately info for this article wasn't researched properly. They neglected to interview the woman working with Congressman Jones drafting the language for the bill. One thing she was specific about was that no tax payer money is used. The bill has funding from donations to 501(c)(3) organizations and transportation via donated frequent flyer miles. Please check the Facebook page Help Get Military Working Dogs Medical Benefits for a copy of the most recent draft of the bill.

      January 7, 2012 at 8:08 am | Reply
      • Lynn

        The woman who is working with Congressman Jones took her MAIN points...whether they were from her English paper or not...as her site claims...DIRECTLY from two organizations: US WAR DOGS and Military Working Dog Adoptions!! She may have used those sites as references, but they had their draft of the proposed MWD Transport,Reclassification and Commendation Amendment up on their websites for almost TWO years. Her language is almost identical to what they had published! I think maybe CNN realized who the REAL MWD ADVOCATES are and that is why they interviewed Ron Aiello and Debbie Kandoll.
        Also...again...Why should the MWDs who are stationed and retired at PERMANENT bases overseas have to rely on DONATED FREQUENT FLYER MILES? Our government procured these dogs, trained them and assigned them to the oveseas stations. The government transported them OVER there...why should the RESPONSIBILTY for their transport BACK to the CONTINENTAL US be the responsilbility of PHILANTHROPIC folks?? It is the GOVERNMENT'S RESPONSIBILTY to get our American MWDs back home...PLAIN and SIMPLE!!!

        January 7, 2012 at 8:45 pm |
  50. aaron

    This is getting borderline insane... When will the Politically Correct garbage stop? I thought we had freedom of speech? If the army says its equipment, it's equipment. Period, End of story.

    January 7, 2012 at 1:03 am | Reply
    • sandyman4090

      and if the government says Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, we listen and go along with a decade long 2billion dollar a month, human and DOG endangering war..... u know nothing of importance

      January 7, 2012 at 1:05 am | Reply
    • Sean A

      Not a single soldier that has one of those dogs would agree with you.

      January 7, 2012 at 1:07 am | Reply
      • JSF

        100% agreed.

        January 7, 2012 at 1:11 am |
    • Rita

      Yes, by all means! lets listen to the military (not). As an american I feel much more at peace and have more freedom,( living here in China.) Thank-you George and Dick. Maybe they would like to contribute to getting the dogs back. Why haven't they been brought to court for treason and war crimes against their own people and dogs? Because we are all selfish cowards.

      January 7, 2012 at 1:30 am | Reply
      • Apache111w

        I give you props for moving out of the country instead of whining like every other bleeding heart liberal. "Why won't the government pay for my gas? Why won't the government pay for my mortgage? What do you mean I have to try and find a job to get welfare? I haven't worked for 20 yrs. Drug test to get my welfare check??? This is unconstitutional!" – Can we please get a very large fire pit going and throw these people in it

        January 7, 2012 at 4:45 am |
    • G.I. Joe

      You also, can go fuck yourself.

      January 7, 2012 at 1:43 am | Reply
    • Dan B.

      Aaron, quite clearly you dont get it .. so maybe you shouldnt even worry about this article at all .. why spend your precious time posting here ? Post elsewhere on issues that may matter to you .. I understand that not every individual will consider this issue to be of importance .. but a lot of us do .. and this is precisely why we have a congressman and other powerful groups devoting some of their time to this issue .. naturally they understand that this issue is of value to many and hence the action..
      Also looks like you agree with everything that the military says going by your statement "if the military says dogs are equipment then they are equipment" .. if this is the case my friend, then be prepared to call these same dogs as either military dogs or dog soldiers because that is what the military will refer to them as once the bill is passed into a law..

      January 7, 2012 at 1:44 am | Reply
    • oldsarge

      Aaron go jump of a bridge and on the way down sing "if I only had a brain"

      January 7, 2012 at 2:00 am | Reply
      • Robin Hamilton

        Great idea.

        January 7, 2012 at 4:40 am |
    • CW4

      Right, because the Military is never wrong. Just ask the Tuskegee Airmen. (And before anyone jumps down my throat, this is sarcasm directed at the concept that the military can't be wrong and is in no way comparing what the Tuskegee Airmen or how they were abused to dogs.)

      January 7, 2012 at 2:43 am | Reply
  51. mipolitic

    dog is a tool to carry out the task that they are trained for. a dog of this postion is a tool to aid the troops.

    January 7, 2012 at 1:00 am | Reply
    • sandyman4090

      and your a tool as well

      January 7, 2012 at 1:03 am | Reply
      • Ray in Vegas

        Good one, Sandy!

        January 7, 2012 at 1:23 am |
      • Dan B.

        Funny but agree with u Sandyman

        January 7, 2012 at 1:32 am |
      • JanineC


        January 7, 2012 at 8:03 am |
  52. Z

    Canine PTSD? I don't think so. Dogs move on. The owner/handler feels bad for the dog and projects that negative energy on to the dog ...it's the human, always the human.

    January 7, 2012 at 12:58 am | Reply
    • sandyman4090

      dog moves on?? you must have never been around a beaten, abused, or mistreated/raised dog because they usually have life long issues (behavioral/tempermental) because of such neglect

      January 7, 2012 at 1:02 am | Reply
      • Z

        Yes, dogs have the ability to move on, adapt, be shown another way to be... much more so than a human, and much faster.

        January 7, 2012 at 1:04 am |
      • sandyman4090

        You make absolutely no sense. Humans have the same such ability to get over things, that does not prevent humans from having PTSD. Plenty of beaten dogs are euthenized cause of their inability to cope and be normal again, ofcourse some cope fine, the point is PTSD CAN exist for some dogs.

        January 7, 2012 at 1:08 am |
      • Z

        I don't think it's okay to treat human psychology and dog psychology the same way. This isn't a disease that you medicate, or get rid of by killing the dog. Rehabilitate. Cesar could do it.

        January 7, 2012 at 1:15 am |
      • sandyman4090

        YOU ARE DELUSIONAL! Who is comparing dog and human psychology?? U say it is not possible for dogs to have PTSD when it obviously is. If you want to name a PTSD- dog version, then go ahead because the point is they can be traumitized because of an event or events and exhibit stress related behavioral problems for the rest of their life. WHAT ARE YOU ARGUING

        January 7, 2012 at 1:23 am |
      • Z

        ...that....it....is....not....a.....disorder. It is behavior that can be changed. No such thing as a dog "too far gone". Don't euthanize. Rehabilitate.

        January 7, 2012 at 1:28 am |
      • sandyman4090

        Quote from you "Canine PTSD? I don't think so. Dogs move on." I understand you have decided this comment is ridiculous and would like to now say they need rehabilitation.. I might add the need for rehab shows the existence of something to rehabilitate which is obviously stress related issues in this case... so you clearly now believe PTSD of some kind does exist for dogs and rehab is subsequently needed... or did you change your mind back to "I dont think so"

        January 7, 2012 at 1:32 am |
      • Z

        Dogs move on = Dogs can move on. Let's not be frivolous.

        January 7, 2012 at 1:40 am |
      • sandyman4090

        Humans can also move on... I dont know what that changes.. dogs and humans can also not move on and develop life long disorders... or I gues you think ALL dogs move on... forget frivolous, you make no sense buddy

        January 7, 2012 at 1:42 am |
      • Z

        I'm getting tired of this so this will be my last post. Here is my point: dogs do not hold on to a single traumatic event the way you or I would. Okay, so a dog sees his handler get blown up in Iraq, and gets injured itself. That is no excuse to euthanize a dog. A person who knows how to exercise, discipline, and give affection at the right time will demonstrate a balanced, well-socialized dog.. immediately, if it was a balanced dog to begin with, before the "PTSD-inducing event". It's bad human handling of the dog that creates undesirable behavior... in many of these case, I would imagine, involving guilt and feeling sorry for the dog's past.

        January 7, 2012 at 1:50 am |
      • sandyman4090

        I think the military could use your groundbreaking methods of rehabilitating dogs "immediately" as you say. ALL I ever said was dogs can have PTSD and you have clearly affirmed that, you just are too ignorant to know this. Whether they can be rehabilitated quicker is of little importnace to the fact that they CAN suffer from PTSD and deserve respectful treatment of such. YOUR RIGHT, YOU ARE DONE

        January 7, 2012 at 1:54 am |
    • JSF

      You're saying dogs don't show obvious sins of dealing with the after effects of physical and emotional trauma? Absurd.

      January 7, 2012 at 1:09 am | Reply
      • sandyman4090

        Totally absurd

        January 7, 2012 at 1:10 am |
      • Z

        You misunderstand. I'm not saying that trauma doesn't affect them, I'm saying that we anthropomorphize, too eager to diagnose human disorders, when what is needed is proper canine rehabilitation. Can a rat get PTSD?

        January 7, 2012 at 1:22 am |
      • sandyman4090

        You have officially compared man's best friend to a creature that lives where our poop flows... you must have 150 cats in your urine smelling shack

        January 7, 2012 at 1:26 am |
      • Z

        Take it easy, chief. Dog is man's best friend, but it is not a man.

        January 7, 2012 at 1:29 am |
      • sandyman4090

        No your exactly right, its our best friend... and you clearly advocate treating best friends like sewer rates.. or did i misunderstand you again

        January 7, 2012 at 1:34 am |
      • Z

        You get way too emotional. I would like to refer you to a simple evolutionary chart that shows mice are genetically closer cousins to humans than dogs, further emphasizing the need to separate human and dog psychology:

        January 7, 2012 at 1:38 am |
      • sandyman4090

        Ya monkeys are our closest animal relative... what on GODS earth does that mean, you literally just make points that have no relevancy to anything. Rats and monkeys are not man's best friend.. DOGS ARE.. you can always judge a human race by how it treats its animals and espceially our BEST FRIENDS. Nobody wants to compare dog and human psychology or cares to, they are our best friend for whatever reason and thus deserve the respect of being such friends with the race that is ABOVE all others in the world as we know it.

        January 7, 2012 at 1:46 am |
      • sandyman4090

        And dont worry I am not emotional just stunned at your ignorance..You compare the geneological affinity of mice with humans as reasoning why dogs are incapable of suffering from stress disorders. STUNNING IDIOCY

        January 7, 2012 at 1:50 am |
    • Mel

      Veterinarians say dogs do indeed get PTSD and are helped with medicine and therapy. Some people on this planet are nothing more than users and abusers. Those that don't give a twit what happens to dogs that have served to protect soldier's lives are the same kind of people who don't give a twit about their fellow human beings. They will gladly use and abuse you if they believe they have something to gain from it. It is good that they tell you they have this attitude because then, if you are smart and wise, you will avoid them if at all possible! Don't do them any favors and make sure they don't use and abuse you! They are letting you know they are selfish and materialistic people and it would be a good idea to file that information away!

      January 7, 2012 at 2:22 am | Reply
      • Rick

        Z – You are a complete moron. You have no idea what goes through a dogs mind after it sees what it has seen in war. You're just lucky you were born somewhere safe in AMERICA and have never been through 1% as troops or the animals have!! Without animals, you would be nothing!!! They are literally risking their lives for people like YOU and this is the thanks you give them. Wow, just can't believe the nonsense that comes out of people's mouth. No respect at all....you should be completely ashamed of yourself. And ya know what Z, dogs would NEVER judge you just accept who you are as a person and love you, yet these dogs have no choice but to go to war and risk their lives (for what?) and this is the thanks you give them. Honestly, go F*ck yourself and keep your thoughts to yourself.

        January 7, 2012 at 3:39 am |
    • Rick

      Go F*ck yourself Z. You don't wanna show support to the creatures (human/canine) that risk their lives on a daily basis? Move to Afghanistan and rot in hell. No one wants you here

      January 7, 2012 at 3:45 am | Reply
  53. I Love Kids

    These passionate public advocates for the social status of dogs remind me of proselytizing religious zealots. Dogs and gods fill some of the same emotional voids found in both groups of people. And some members of both groups sense, at some level, that their values/beliefs might be a big lie, so they are desperate to validate said values/beliefs by insisting on wider, or unanimous, acceptance for them in society.

    January 7, 2012 at 12:55 am | Reply
    • corpsman

      Are you a pedophile?

      January 7, 2012 at 12:56 am | Reply
      • JanineC

        I think so...

        January 7, 2012 at 8:05 am |
    • Sean A

      Please give up psychoanalyzing. You are terrible at it.

      January 7, 2012 at 1:04 am | Reply
    • Blink44

      If a living creature, any living creature, served our country, they deserve to be treated as well as they treated us, and that means you, too. It's not about forcing other people to feel the same way about animals, and it's not comparable to "god", or religion, it is a living breathing creature, not something in the spiritual world.

      January 7, 2012 at 1:28 am | Reply
  54. billy bob

    Wher u at peta????

    January 7, 2012 at 12:44 am | Reply
    • Benedict Cruz

      They won't bother with this because it will not put them in the front page of newspapers.

      January 7, 2012 at 1:09 am | Reply
  55. Chris

    This makes me sick. These dogs don't have a choice or a voice to decide whether or not they want to risk their lives for a country that would rather spend billions on war than on feeding their own.

    January 7, 2012 at 12:39 am | Reply
    • Tina1649

      True, the dogs have no choice, as did the millions of men who were drafted since 1915, yet they all served in various capacities. I do find it shameless that our human and canine veterans are not given the treatment they deserve.

      January 7, 2012 at 12:42 am | Reply
      • Benedict Cruz

        Dogs have no choice because they do not have that intellect of choice unlike human beings. Animals usually act based on their instinct and conditioning. And those soldiers who signed up after the Vietnam war have done so on their own volition. They were not forced to sign up. Once you sign up you know that your first priority is your country and your "job".

        January 7, 2012 at 1:04 am |
      • JanineC

        Maybe, but we haven't had a draft for 40 years...

        January 7, 2012 at 8:07 am |
    • Tko

      Yes, but on the other hand, soldiers are also considered U.S. Army property as well, literally. If one intentionally injures oneself say, to avoid combat, one can be charged with destroying US govt property.

      January 7, 2012 at 12:43 am | Reply
      • Tina1649

        Perhaps but no dog has shot itself in the foot either!

        January 7, 2012 at 12:45 am |
    • randy

      So right, people know what there gettin into, dogs dont. When vets come back from war does the military fire them? Or can they keep working? I dont understand all this talk about hiring vets when they have a job? As you can see i never was in Military so just asking.

      January 7, 2012 at 3:53 am | Reply
  56. Wallace

    By all means reclassify them. Conversely, when police invent a reason to shoot your dogs, you should be able to sue as if an innocent member of your family was just killed.

    January 7, 2012 at 12:38 am | Reply
    • Robin Hamilton

      Yes, let's keep working on that. The number of dogs killed by police is appalling!

      January 7, 2012 at 4:48 am | Reply
    • JanineC

      I agree...you know, in San Jose now they claim they have no money to deploy Animal Control after hours so if an animal gets hurt or hit by a car, they send a cop out to shoot it. Sick isn't it? My roommate wants to change that–he has witnessed them do it twice now in the last year and neither animal (a beautiful horse and a little chihuahua) needed to die.

      January 7, 2012 at 8:11 am | Reply
  57. MilK9Cop

    Everyone reading this article needs to understand this... U.S. Military Working Dogs are NOT left behind. This occurred during the time of the Vietnam War, but it DOES NOT happen anymore. I've been in the DoD K9 program for over 10 years now, and each one of these warriors are treated with great respect. The Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines that handle these dogs daily love these dogs and count them as partners. Argue what you want about MWD adoptions and the gov't footing the cost, but please don't think for a second that these dogs are being left behind anywhere.

    January 7, 2012 at 12:37 am | Reply
    • janet

      thanks for clearing that up about the dogs not being left behind. but i still think more needs to be done to help these partners and friends these 4-legged military members only want love and of course a few good meals!! if they are being counted on like any service member then they need to be given ALL the benefits while in service and more so when they are retired!!! thanks to the handlers and 2 legged military members!!! God bless

      January 7, 2012 at 1:11 am | Reply
  58. Scott

    Advocates? LOL,,,is this the new PC word for a bunch of NEDs trying to impose their elitist, self-absorbed mantra on the general populace just because "they think something is wrong?" F U advocates and I really don't care what you think.

    January 7, 2012 at 12:36 am | Reply
    • Tina1649

      It is not that at all...it is the humane thing to do. The dogs do their duty as well as provide moral support – money cannot buy that anywhere at all.

      January 7, 2012 at 12:40 am | Reply
    • JanineC

      give me a break... (from a very un-PC poster)

      January 7, 2012 at 8:13 am | Reply
  59. Joe

    Some of this stuff makes sense, but giving dogs medals? Give me a break. The dog would rather have a dead squirrel to chew on.

    January 7, 2012 at 12:35 am | Reply
    • Benedict Cruz

      Giving dogs medals is already an overkill. What they need is to live and die in a dignified manner. They would appreciate more if you give them a toy to chew on than a medal. Unless it is a dog cookie medal that they can eat after.

      January 7, 2012 at 1:12 am | Reply
    • Robin Hamilton

      I agree that the medal idea is stupid, really stupid. But all the dogs should be brought home and given the best change for long, healthy and happy lives just like all the human veterans. Remember that these dogs were not given a choice to be involved in a war, but once there they did give it their all.

      January 7, 2012 at 4:55 am | Reply
  60. Dr. W E. Merwine

    I'm still disgusted at what the USA military did to the soldier canines in the Viet Nam War...euthanized, huh, these dogs for the most part were shot dead by their loyal human soldier companions...Why? Because they Loved Them. Why? Because no provisions were provided to them to bring back their loyal canine soldiers and they didn't want the Vietnamese to torture and eat them..Yes, this is the truth. That is what happened...and now those retirede soldiers who served our country have to live with the horrific guilt.

    January 7, 2012 at 12:33 am | Reply
  61. Tina1649

    Dogs are living creatures and should be afforded the same respect and dignity as the humans they work with every day. They are not artillery nor kitchen rations so to classify them as "equipment" only confirms to me that 'military intelligence' is an oxymoron. Give these canines the same veteran benefits as their human counterparts; they deserve no less.

    January 7, 2012 at 12:31 am | Reply
    • Elaine Paulsen

      I believe dogs are very intelligent and need the respect of people. I believe dogs are capable of doing many things and need to have the respect they deserve.

      January 7, 2012 at 12:39 am | Reply
    • Jeanie

      Tina1648, Please go on Facebook to Help Get Military Working Dogs Medical Benefits and read a copy of the bill. They aren't going to receive the same benefits as human veterans. Payment for medical bills will come from donations from 501(c)(3) organizations and transportation via donated frequent flyer miles, similar how, currently, people can donate miles to wounder miitary members and their families.

      January 7, 2012 at 8:13 am | Reply
  62. Lovemydog

    Outstanding. Even special forces units celebrate take your pet to work day.

    January 7, 2012 at 12:28 am | Reply
  63. The Flamingo Kid

    Leave the dogs alone! Keep them out of your PATHETIC, SENSELESS wars!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 7, 2012 at 12:24 am | Reply
    • Across12

      I agree.

      January 7, 2012 at 12:47 am | Reply
  64. Russ

    This is a no brainer. Of course reclassify them. I have no doubt that the dogs are better soldiers than many of the humans that they serve with. They deserve respect, and that means that they should not be classified as equipment.

    January 7, 2012 at 12:24 am | Reply
  65. Sunny Murchison


    January 7, 2012 at 12:24 am | Reply
    • Pam Pilgrim

      YES!!! YES!!! YES!!!!

      January 7, 2012 at 12:33 am | Reply
    • Dan B.

      Strongly agreed

      January 7, 2012 at 12:35 am | Reply
    • JanineC

      I agree!!

      January 7, 2012 at 8:15 am | Reply
  66. Mike Rotchitches

    Dogs are equipment. They're used to go where it's too dangerous, or too confined, for troops to go. They're used for their fine sense of smell. But no is going to leave them there. They are assets. We'll always have a need for well trained K-9s, if not overseas, in the war against drugs, etc.. Even if we were to leave them there, the occupying army we leave in charge could make good use of them. But to say that dogs are soldiers is silly. Get over it. Republicans are too sentimental. If you want to save a dog, go to the pound. Stop worrying about these dogs. They're well taken care of.

    January 7, 2012 at 12:22 am | Reply
    • Dan B.

      Its not about being emotional .. its ethically incorrect to consider any life as "equipment" .. And its utterly selfish to put these dogs in dangerous situations to protect humans and then to discard them there once they are of no usem.. We need to ask ourselves a question that is indeed a bit philosophical.. what does being human entail ? To me, being human first and foremost entails having a heart, having the guts to undo what wrong we have done, to evolve mentally and spiritually.. it shudnt only be about money for us .. it should also be about responsibility and a moral obligation to ones who work with us and for our protection, be it human soldiers or dog soldiers .. it makes way more sense and it is way healthier for us to live a responsible life full of gratitude to others than to just wade through a selfish existence ..

      January 7, 2012 at 12:52 am | Reply
    • sandyman4090

      Dogs are def. not equipment, even if you don't want to call them soldiers they are in no way equipment. You must be a cat lover cause any dog owner knows that dogs are a special species to the human race and should not be considered just another hunk of equipment expendable like the rest. I understand we can't treat an animal like a full human but dogs are a special partner that save hundreds of lives each, they have earned their right to fairer designation and treatment at the least.

      January 7, 2012 at 12:56 am | Reply
      • JanineC

        Hey now! I am a cat owner (3 in the house and take care of 9 strays) and lover but I also love dogs (have one) and know how special they are.

        January 7, 2012 at 8:17 am |
    • Keith

      Folks stand up for dogs more than they do for people!!! LOL
      You are nuts if you think reclassifying a "military" dog makes a difference (especially to the dog). The soldiers treat these dogs fine! No reclassification needed. Please stop with the bs. The dogs are property. Just like the soldiers are. Quit sugar coating. Dogs are like slaves. They are loyal to the ones that feed and take care of them. They don't really love like humans do. Sorry to burst your bubble.. wake up

      January 7, 2012 at 1:00 am | Reply
      • sandyman4090

        Wake up. There isn't a breathing animal on this gigantic planet that shares such a close affinity with the human race. Does that sound like a mere relationship of slavery? They also happen to save lives which makes them that much more special. You need to wake up, regardless of classification they deserve better treatment CONSIDERING what the dog actually is to Mankind and does for the military

        January 7, 2012 at 1:19 am |
      • Robin Hamilton

        You are right...dogs don't love like humans. Dogs love unconditionally! You are the one who needs to wake up and try for a heart transplant...you need it.

        January 7, 2012 at 5:03 am |
      • JanineC

        No, they love MORE than humans do. You have no clue...

        January 7, 2012 at 8:19 am |
    • ryan

      There not equipment! I am a handler and these dogs do more for there country then I can say for most. It's not about being sentimental, its about treating them with the respect they have earned! I doubt u are a handler and probably no nothing more then what u read. U ever have a pet? Cause these aren't them there more!

      January 7, 2012 at 1:00 am | Reply
  67. steve

    Dogs are sentient animals. To treat them like inanimate hardware is very wrong in my atheist thinking. Funny how religious people justify it. I'm so sick of all of it. I'm old and not 20-40 years old so I guess my opinion can be dismissed.
    I'm just proud to have known the love a dog can give.

    January 7, 2012 at 12:19 am | Reply
    • glennrobertg

      As a retired vet, Korea 1953, I live in a state retirement home in Barstow Ca. Yes I am 82 and the handler for an 80 pound Yellow Lab. who is a pet therapy dog. He belongs to the facility and is well cared for. I see to it. He is enjoyed by the residents and staff alike. Being over ten years old he has health problems but we are getting old together.

      January 7, 2012 at 1:18 am | Reply
      • MsMello

        You sir, give me hope for humanity. ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope you continue to take care of him for many healthy years to come.

        January 7, 2012 at 3:33 am |
    • cocopuf

      You are partly right in what you've written Steve. But, there is a much greater universal love out there that we should learn, recognize, bind to, and obey. Instinctively, we were all born with that truth; but, of our own free will, became corrupted all the way back home to our creator. Will you then say that you loved your dog more than anything else in this creation? ๐Ÿ™‚

      January 7, 2012 at 9:50 am | Reply
  68. JOH

    Why do people always assume the dog is brave or some other stupid thing like "the dog knew we were in danger." Duh. It's a living being that is more connected to nature and primal instinct than we are... It actually makes sense that the dog would notice someone injured, notice what a baby is, etc etc... but it doesn't make sense some of the dumb idiots that live here know the difference between Snooki and Kim Kardashian.

    January 7, 2012 at 12:17 am | Reply
    • Across12

      Right on.

      January 7, 2012 at 12:50 am | Reply
    • JanineC

      Dogs know danger. Our dog saved my roommate from a guy with a gun. He saw my friend was in danger from the gun and bit his hand completely off!! He has done many other things like that by putting his own life on the line for his master. Even dogs who have been shot or beaten by a bad guy will keep fighting to save their master. What do you know?? Nothing..

      January 7, 2012 at 8:22 am | Reply
  69. billy

    It is a shame military dogs are not treated better, they serve America just like soldiers and they risk their lives without even volunteering to do so. I sincerely hope this bill gets passed and they are never abandoned in a war zone even if they are retired. A dog is never equipment, especially when they served our country with honor, saved lives, and did the job we required them to do. They too are heroes.

    January 7, 2012 at 12:15 am | Reply
    • JOH

      You some kind of naive idiot?? I love dogs don't get me wrong... but if I'm stranded in the front lines in the middle of winter with no reinforcements, no food, no warmth... I would eat that dog in a second and many soldier/marine would do the same.

      January 7, 2012 at 12:19 am | Reply
      • steve

        Joh, in extreme cases you may be correct but it is sad the military has made you so hard and I'm a Vet. It seems all many of our new military do is think in the extreme anymore. Because it is all voluntary a large percentage seem to relish war.
        In my day, we did not relish war. Call me a wimp. That is fine.

        January 7, 2012 at 12:25 am |
      • Guest

        If it were MY dog, I believe I'd be looking for enemy KIA for a meal to share with the pup.

        January 7, 2012 at 12:40 am |
      • glennrobertg

        In extremist conditions the Catholic church position it is acceptable to eat human flesh. The same thinking could certainly involve dogs.

        January 7, 2012 at 1:27 am |
      • Mel

        Eating mammals, you need to know, often causes cholesterol build-up in your veins. Some scientists claim that eating red meat causes inflammation in your colon, and if your colon gets inflamed too often, well, it might lead to colon cancer. Inflammation is behind a lot of the cancers that humans get. You might want to think about that before you chow down! Healthier to dine on fish and poultry, at least from your colon's point of view. On second thought, go ahead and eat all the red meat your little heart desires. I have a cardiologist friend who could use the business!

        January 7, 2012 at 2:32 am |
      • Mel

        As Wanda Sykes says in her act, "Ladies, we have to stop calling men 'dogs'. I mean it ladies! We need to stop calling men 'dogs.' ....................DOGS ARE LOYAL!

        January 7, 2012 at 2:41 am |
  70. cm

    Dogs are not equipment. They matter. Our world wouldn't be the same without our domesticated animals. I agree the word 'equipment' needs to go. The term K-9 soldier or something should take its place.

    January 7, 2012 at 12:13 am | Reply
  71. Larry

    These dogs deserve a kind, loving home with experienced dog handlers when they do return from the war. My wife and I are in that position. How can we adopt one of them?

    January 7, 2012 at 12:13 am | Reply
    • John

      In the Air Force Lackland is the sole headquarters for our K-9s. If you look up contact info for the K-9 institution there you should be able to find the right avenue.

      January 7, 2012 at 12:35 am | Reply
    • Gale


      January 7, 2012 at 12:44 am | Reply
      • Benedict Cruz

        Thank you very much for posting the website Gale. I hope you post it more often so that those who are interested know how and where to start.

        January 7, 2012 at 1:19 am |
  72. Aaron

    It doesnt matter what theyre classified as, this is such a waste of time and political resources, whether a dog is classified as a pet, a companion, a partner, or equipment doesnt matter what-so-ever. Theres no difference in the soldiers eyes how he views his companion based just on some name awarded to it.

    Do you think police would care if their pet was considered a companion or equipment? Its just a name, it wouldnt change the fact that the bonds these people develope with their companions is stronger than many human relationships, that the trust and love is still there no matter what you name it.

    January 7, 2012 at 12:12 am | Reply
    • Tina1649

      A dog is not a gun – at least the last I looked. They are living creatures like us and deserve that respect, no less.

      January 7, 2012 at 12:48 am | Reply
    • Dan B.

      To some extent i get what you mean .. but the debate here is not over some senseless classification scheme.. it makes a big difference in the legal jargon if you classify something as "equipment". Because equipment is not entitled to benefits such as medical treatments and rehabilitation .. many a times equipment is "retired" from service and left behind in foreign lands because it is not cost effective to bring it back to stateside.. and this is precisely why so many people here are supporting the cause of reclassification of military dogs from mere pieces of equipment to something more sensible that allows them to be brought home and rehabilitated .. they provided us with selfless service .. we should do the same for them .. so there are very strong ethical and legal grounds to support this reclassification even if it doesnt change the nature of companionship between a dog and a human

      January 7, 2012 at 1:09 am | Reply
  73. Jeanie

    I would like to know why the woman who has been working with Congressman Jones to draft the bill, providing key language, was not interviewed? Seems that proper background research wasn't done. If you go on FB to Help Get Military Working Dogs Medical Benefits and Military Working Dog Assistance Organizaion you'll be able to see all the work she's done to get this bill drafted.

    January 7, 2012 at 12:11 am | Reply
  74. jlhutchk9

    First of Dustin was one of my Marines. He was killed by insurgents January of 2007. I and our vet received him and Lex at Al Asad. While the trauma team was working on the Dusty the vet and I worked on Lex. He had shrapnel in his muzzle, head, ears front legs, and all down his back. We kept him from dying from shock.

    While I agree Military Working Dogs should be reclassified as something other than equipment, it is not feasible for the DoD to pick up the tab for extended and protracted medical care after the dog is adopted out. H.R.5314 covers MWD adoptions..prior to that MWDs were euthanized and studied. The DoD DOES NOT LEAVE DOGS BEHIND IN THEATERS OF OPERATION! The only dogs that don't come home or are not guaranteed a ride home are feral dogs soldiers and Marines use as camp dogs. As for the military paying for adopted dogs to fly home to their new owners via military air..just to start up a C-17 Globemaster is 38k. 1 Pallet space is roughly 12-15k. Commercial freight is obviously cheaper at anywhere from 500-2000 dollars. Most units (Military Police/USAF LE/USN Master at Arms) are all underfunded as it is as are the respective MWD programs across the DoD. Simple math is the units cannot afford to do this. BTW most US Army veterinarians still treat retired MWDs at cost meds or for free. If you want to adopt an MWD go to http://www.militaryworkingdogadoptions.com/.


    Jason Hutchison

    January 7, 2012 at 12:09 am | Reply
    • Jeanie

      There is no tax payer money being used in Congressman Jones' bill. You can read all the drafts on FB page 'Help Get Military Working Dogs Medical Benefits'. A lot of work was done to get all of the language just right.

      January 7, 2012 at 12:14 am | Reply
      • jlhutchk9

        I have read it.

        January 7, 2012 at 12:18 am |
      • jlhutchk9

        Correction..Dusty and Lex's were hit Mar 07, I was injured in jan 07. Sorry for the misstatement of facts.

        January 7, 2012 at 12:28 am |
    • Mike Rotchitches

      Jason, you are the ฦ’'ยกn man! Great post; informative, and actually served a useful purpose... as opposed to the complaining the rest of do.

      January 7, 2012 at 12:27 am | Reply
      • jlhutchk9

        The comments were way out of control. Thanks Mike

        January 7, 2012 at 12:32 am |
  75. jeffrey

    This is an outrage!

    January 7, 2012 at 12:01 am | Reply
  76. sheila

    These dogs deserve to treated humanely and with compassion as all living creatures, human or non-human. The fact that they have no choice in the matter as to be trained to become service dogs should inherently bring the priviledge of being returned back to US soil, and adopted to a loving family.

    January 7, 2012 at 12:00 am | Reply
  77. Sarah

    Want to help? Sign this petition. http://www.change.org/petitions/united-states-congress-give-military-working-dogs-medical-benefits-when-they-retire

    January 6, 2012 at 11:58 pm | Reply
    • cm


      January 7, 2012 at 12:15 am | Reply
    • MsMello

      Done and thank you for that.

      January 7, 2012 at 3:39 am | Reply
  78. Joe Black

    A dog is a dog anybody with common sense can see that. Call them what you want it does not matter. Where would we be with out our dogs. They bring us happiness and joy. One thing about a dog he won't run off with another dog!

    January 6, 2012 at 11:57 pm | Reply
  79. Jason

    Who cares what their classified as, as long as their being handled and treated with respect. I worked with a lot of these dogs in Fallujah and Baghdad, never once did I ever see a trainer mis handle or abuse the animal. If anything they were treated better than most Marines, which if the general public wasn't aware are treated and classified as equipment as well. We're expendable and thats part of it all. I'm sick of seeing tree hugging hippies and animal right groups causing our service members and government to waste more unneeded time and money on subjects like these. WE ARE AT WAR, lets focus on the job at hand and put the gay rights, animal rights, and whatever else you want to complain about on the back burner for now. Once we're in peace time I don't mind you stepping in making these changes or pushing for change but my god we got enough on our plate right now, lets focus on what really benefits our Marines and Soldiers. Valhalla

    January 6, 2012 at 11:57 pm | Reply
  80. Skipper

    What exactly could one classify a dog? "Non human non equipment"??? It may make our hearts go pitter patter to call a dog a "soldier" but, in reality, thats just more of the P.C. warm huggy stuff that so many claim to hate. A soldier is a soldier. A dog is a combat service animal. Treat them humanely? Absolutely. Soldiers benefits? Absolutely not.

    Bottom line: if more dead dogs mean less dead soldiers, we need more dogs.

    January 6, 2012 at 11:53 pm | Reply
    • corpsman

      You svck, buddy.

      January 7, 2012 at 12:04 am | Reply
    • Spock500


      January 7, 2012 at 12:08 am | Reply
    • Jeanie

      The bill will re-classify them as K-9 members of the Armed Forces. Please go to FB 'Help Get Military Working Dogs Medical Benefits' and you can read all the various drafts of the bill. It uses no tax payer money

      January 7, 2012 at 12:17 am | Reply
      • IHateTreeHuggingLiberals

        I think most people here are speaking without actually knowing how things really are. People keep commenting on one guy making a surplus sale remark as if that is the view of the entire military/government. First off I have seen these dogs in action myself. I think they are great for helping us in the field and trust me the handlers treat these dogs like they are close family members. When they arent out with a patrol they are well cared for. I will grant that these dogs have it a lot harder than the overfed and overspoiled fidos you find in the states, but they are not human and no animal should be treated as such in my opinion. Regardless of how they are classified these dogs are used to save "human" lives period. If they didnt do that then they wouldnt be there. If having more dogs save human lives than I agree more dogs all day. I think they should be rewarded for their service in some way, and having families adopt them is as good as it is going to get really. There isnt a whole lot you can do. Dogs don't care about medals, ribbons, or any of that so don't even bother. As for medical benefits I think that is not only a waste of time, and anyone who thinks it wont cost tax payers eventually is delusional. That money is coming from somewhere and guess what tax payer it is coming from you because it isnt going to appear out of thin air. Sooner or later the we get the bill there is no way around it. Medical is never cheap or free. If you care so much about dog benefits open up a vet and provide free care for war dogs. Without government subsidies payed for with taxes there is no way you could stay in business for very long. Furthermore, as someone who was injured overseas I can tell you that you have a better chance of winning the lottery or getting hit by a meteor than you do having your claim taken care of in a timely manner. Odds are the dog will be dead or years will have passed if medical for canines is run anything like standard VA care for vets. More time should be focused on fixing the VA and medical care for injured vets and less wasted on pointless and in the end expensive liberal laws that would change nothing substantial but likely end up costing a fortune.

        As for those who think the military is evil for leaving dogs in deployed zones think about it from another angle. Control of the dogs is given to the country in question. They then tend to the dogs, give them homes, and utilize them for various means. Its not like they simply get thrown off a cliff. Now if the host nation starves, butchers, eats the dog alive, tortures them, or whatever then yes that is animal cruelty by that particular country not us. But simply giving the dogs to another country is not evil so quit crying about it. I like dogs and have had a number of them over the years. But in the end they are not human and shouldnt be treated better than any human being. I dont cry and demand laws to get medical care so some goldfish can have greater longevity, and I am not going to pay higher taxes so wolfie gets medical care that most people on earth don't get. Spend the money feeding starving starving African kids if you care about the wellbeing of others so much.

        As for that idiot who says vets should be nice because you pay taxes go pound sand. Vets have kept your worthless tree hugging ass safe for to long. You have a home, freedom, rights, and get to speak English because at some point someone fought to ensure you have those things. You could be speaking German right now. Consider those taxes to be an operating fee so that the 1% of the population that protects you can continue doing so. Odds are you are one of the many who don't pay taxes and collect welfare. If you don't like how things are move to China and enjoy Communism for a while and you and your obese yorkie will quickly realize think you had it great here. If you disagree with me that is your right as a citizen of the United States, but I don't care so don't bother replying as I wont be reading what you have to say.

        January 7, 2012 at 6:37 am |
    • SkippersAnIdiot

      What a jack @$$

      January 7, 2012 at 12:18 am | Reply
    • Chris

      At least the soldiers have a choice to enlist. The dogs do not.

      January 7, 2012 at 12:42 am | Reply
      • JOH

        Apparently, you have not seen chaos and destruction where even the bravest of men quiver in fear and huddle up to cry their mother's names repeatedly as artillery shrieks down. When a dog's "loyalty and obedience" means little... when dogs themselves run with their tails between their legs like rats. Not everything is built on order and compassion. Violence is part of life as much as love is.... violence probably has a much more significant role than love in this world. You see because we were given two instincts that EVERYONE knows; fight or flee. Every single animal, bug, fish, etc.

        And also, do you see me criticizing you and nagging you about how some vegans mistreat vegetables? They are living organisms too. Just because they aren't our pets? Is that your reason? You could make the argument people get plants in their houses. That's a pet? Interestingly, there was a research where if you tore apart or pulled the plant opposite directions it released a chemical much similarly to how animals and we humans release chemical whenever there is pain. Vegans and your cruelty free lifestyle huh? If you really want to go by what you "believe" then don't eat altogether. Please just starve so I don't have to see news like this again. No matter how much "disrespect" the dog is given in the public eye, I will always treat dogs with much love. I live in a place where it's not so fortunate (definitely not a war zone) but many dog owners beat their dogs here. I do what I can to stop that. Do you see me going up to the government and telling them "Hi, you are disrespecting these fine dogs who fought for our country with bravery, honor, and faith. Screw you and change their title." Do you have any idea how dumb you sound? Even for enlisted men, they don't fight for bravery or for honor. First things first, they fight to survive and to kill. Nothing humane about the whole thing at all.

        January 7, 2012 at 12:51 am |
  81. moronparty

    would they rather be food? equipment it is!

    January 6, 2012 at 11:50 pm | Reply
    • horseyone62

      Moron says it all.

      January 7, 2012 at 12:08 am | Reply
      • Spock500


        January 7, 2012 at 12:09 am |
    • JOH

      He DOES... you two don't realize you're the real morons. Every marine/soldier that says "the dogs did the job well blah blah blha" will also eat that dog when there is no food. It's war. Even enlisted "heroes, men of honor" are considered "equipment." If you REALLY want to be "humane" to the dog and let it live happily, should have never domesticated it because we've screwed up dogs in so many ways that you won't believe it if you actually did some research that takes like 5 minutes.

      We bred them to be the way they are... to be loving and obedient. It was all genetics. I'm not a big science guy but dogs in the end are dogs. A dog does not know that when you kiss it, you are showing it love. It knows you are showing it love by you giving it attention. At the same time, a dog will understand what a newborn infant in the family is and, if you raised it right, it will learn to respect the infant. It's all a "dog pack" alpha male thing with dogs and that's how you are SUPPOSED to train them otherwise they disobey you because they think they are the "alpha male" and you are an inferior member of the pack. For example, if your ugly tiny chihuahua is barking and you can't get it to stop, you've raised it wrong.

      Also, stop being such idiots. We all want peace. We all love dogs. We all generally think in similar perspective. But be realistic. Just because I want to fly doesn't mean I will jump off the cliff. This is war, and this is modern warfare. You should be more worried why Walmart has their employees listed as "peasants." As much as you'd hate to admit, from day 1 in boot camp, everyone begins to learn how to die and how to survive. In both perspective, you can't really train for them either.

      Guarantee that ALL of you claiming we need to respect dogs more etc etc some idiotic BS... if you were stranded in the front lines for prolonged periods of time and no food... every one of you will also eat that dog. "Civilized and humane" people have done far worse in the past; aka eating each other to survive. You do what you do to survive.

      Also some of you crying about how Bush and Cheney administration didn't focus on the troops well-being... that's because they sent them to a land COMPLETELY different from ours. To kill and to uproot the opposing regime. Need I remind you... this whole 99% of USA all of a sudden respects veterans because of Band of Brothers, The Pacific, Call of Duty wasn't as popular 10 years ago when this war started. I'll tell you what though.. The real people who truly know WHY these men and women are honorable is because of the sole fact that they are not civilians. They aren't constantly crying about this and that, these and those. They aren't constantly saying "FML OMG" or "My life sucks" or think the world is out to get them. So sorry if this offends you but.. I don't care. I may be an ahole talking like this but cry me a river. THis is the real world. No one cares about how you feel or how the dog should be titled. Even the vets think the people who are petitioning this right now is a tree hugging hippie... God I can't believe I used those words but I had to use it.

      January 7, 2012 at 12:37 am | Reply
      • Tina1649

        Looks like you need a bit of anger management...get over it and on with a peaceful life.

        January 7, 2012 at 12:44 am |
      • corpsman

        And what do you know about the real world. Were you in OIF? Did you work with an MWD? I don't think you know sh it.

        January 7, 2012 at 12:55 am |
      • Rob

        @JOH Your long-winded, disjointed rant makes it obvious that you do care what other people think. Do not speak of vets as if you know all of us. I am a vet and you do not speak for me or most other vets I know. Your generalizations are inaccurate and your name-calling proves that it is difficult for you to develop a strong argument. When your example is the extreme, it does not make it fact. Nearly all of the time, service-members are not going to eat their dog. I will be as bold to say that 99.99% have not eaten their dog.
        To discuss the evolution of a house pet is useless. People have breed dogs for certain traits for centuries. You should be thankful for this, or the German Shepard may not be around today to perform the tasks that the DOD needs
        The Army did not "teach" me or my fellow Soldiers how to die, but they taught me how to be a Soldier. This vet and the others I serve with do not agree with you. Speak for yourself and heed your own advice. Do the research. Most vets, unlike yourself, are more compassionate than you give us credit (or discredit).

        January 7, 2012 at 1:45 am |
      • Tewrobert

        You said a mouth full. To me a dog should be a step above you, Maybe two steps..
        You sound terrible
        I dont think anger management is what you need.....Your beyond help..
        Time for a change

        January 7, 2012 at 7:46 am |
  82. PJ

    K9 Police Dogs are classified as Police Officers and if you shoot one, it is seen in many states as the same as opening fire on a human police officer with the same penalties. These dogs should be afforded all the benefits offered to their human soldier counterparts.

    January 6, 2012 at 11:50 pm | Reply
    • JOH

      Majority of the population also refer to police as pigs. And they are the worst type of pigs in the world except for the ones who are cops to truly protect and serve. Honestly, how many cops do you know that TRULY protect and serve day to day or try to at least? I'm not talking about Sheriff Deputy. I'm not talking about DEA those sorry excuse of authority that do nothing but fuel the flame of this "Drug War." And I bet you when you get pulled over, you think exactly the same thing I always think. "That pig just gave me a ticket!" Even if it was your fault, you'd still be mad. Like we all said, we are human. People are saying "be humane" but being human/e also means you're not perfect. Stop trying to make everything perfect because it just simply won't work. It's all about balance. Death is a horrible thing indeed but if there was no death, the world would be so overpopulated. That's why they say with death there is new life.

      January 7, 2012 at 12:43 am | Reply
      • Mr. Buttesrs

        JOH, what are you going on about? Are you intoxicated? Why are you ranting about human police officers and overpopulation?

        January 7, 2012 at 1:15 am |
      • JanineC

        Have another drink!

        January 7, 2012 at 8:29 am |
    • Candace

      Very well stated.

      January 7, 2012 at 12:59 am | Reply
    • Candace

      My comment was directed for PJ. These dogs put their lives on the line constantly and should be awarded the same benefits and respect as their human counterparts.

      January 7, 2012 at 1:02 am | Reply
  83. Noah

    Dogs can be as brave and noble as any man. Some may argue they aren't aware of the grave danger they are placing themselves in like human soldiers do, so their bravery is diminished in comparison. People who say this must never have raised a dog, or lived with a dog. Dogs are afraid of loud noises and potentially dangerous situations just like people. And, just like people, they can train to overcome these fears. I would never leave behind any animal that followed me into battle, and it is shameful that anyone would consider a conscious being, even an "inferior" one, as a surplus object to be discarded.

    January 6, 2012 at 11:49 pm | Reply
  84. Prairie Doc

    War dogs may not have taken an oath, may have never wanted to be in danger but ask any service person who's worked and handled one and they'll tell you of loyalty, courage and commitment that goes beyond the "norm" in front line or dangerous situations. If these dogs in their service save an average of 150 service lives, we damn well better bring them back to U.S. soil so they can be cared for and adopted. There's a lot of G.I.'s, Marines, Airmen and Sailors who owe their lives to these wonderful creatures. Give them the respect they deserve.

    January 6, 2012 at 11:44 pm | Reply
  85. Steve

    The treatment of our dogs in the Vietnam war reflected the sick mentality of Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara and the leadership of the US military: use, abuse, discard. This mentality is still quite pervasive in government circles and it is also applied to the returning injured veterans and dead soldiers. You should remember when the Bush-Cheney click would not allow photos of returning coffins, when returning wet have been denied medical help, when reporters have shown us the dilapidated building where injured veterans have been warehoused. The burocrat is a heartless creature that doesn't care about anything but his own skin. Leaving these dogs behind should be classified as animal abuse; the decent people of this country should force the military to change its evil ways.

    January 6, 2012 at 11:41 pm | Reply
    • JanineC

      Well, we all know that LBJ was an S.O.B. He continued the Vietnam war on purpose to keep his equipment business getting contracts. His "Great Society" also basically destroyed the nuclear black family which used to have a lower divorce rate and higher marriage rate than whites. LBJ was the lowest of the low.

      January 7, 2012 at 8:32 am | Reply
  86. Hear Ye

    Let's keep this REAL. These are DOGS ...... D O G S .......... not humans. Get it?

    January 6, 2012 at 11:36 pm | Reply
    • greg

      Yes, they are dogs, not gear. Get it? Clearly you don't.

      January 6, 2012 at 11:47 pm | Reply
    • cab

      You say that like there's something special about humans?....we're not that cool.

      January 6, 2012 at 11:49 pm | Reply
      • Jason

        Maybe your not that cool. But I completely agree they are dogs and they are being treated humanely so WHO CARES!!!!

        January 6, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
    • Rick

      Here, you come here and get this.........:)

      January 7, 2012 at 2:07 am | Reply
    • Lone

      Deficient in empathy? Never had a pet? You couldn't say that and have it be otherwise. Nobody with a working animal considers them as such and that is the argument here.

      January 7, 2012 at 5:24 am | Reply
  87. Michael

    I believe in JESUS – I'm from the South and a Repubican. I believe these dogs have a soul as my Gawd told me to say that. As such, I believe these dogs should be given all rights and privelidges afforded ferterlized human eggs, zygots, embryros and children.

    After all, they are smart.

    God bless America!

    January 6, 2012 at 11:31 pm | Reply
    • darby

      All animals deserve respect. If you truly believe what you have written, then I encourage you to become a vegetarian and stop eating animals. they are all unique and special in their own way. Let's stop categorizing them...

      January 6, 2012 at 11:47 pm | Reply
  88. ALL uh

    I just loves thems, their first jump out of plane, holy cow, they must think they're gonna die for sure! If they survive, on any level, missing a limb, whatever, they should be given all the same benefits of a soldier, oh wait, they're screwed too.

    January 6, 2012 at 11:28 pm | Reply
  89. chris

    I agree the dogs should be brought home. Having military veterinarian take care of the dogs would be a bit overboard though.

    January 6, 2012 at 11:27 pm | Reply
  90. C

    How is it we're willing to borrow $1 trillion from the Chinese so we can throw bombs on people whose regimes we propped up?"
    Trillion-dollar deficits at home and a war in Iraq that is estimated to have cost at least that much. If you vote for any candidate other
    than Ron Paul, you are voting to spend YOUR tax dollars, voting to create a greater deficit, putting your future and your childrens future in
    debt, all the while, bombing innocent people in other nations, murdering those people, destroying their homes and way of life, and causing
    worldwide anguish. That is what you are paying for, WAR. How can "Christian conservatives" preach the ideals of Christianity, while
    turning a blind eye to the people who suffer because of our foreign policy? America is the war mongering nation beginning strife and
    unrest worldwide because of our foreign meddling and that's the truth.

    January 6, 2012 at 11:26 pm | Reply
    • BK

      I hate people like you. You know why? Because you make Ron Paul supporters like me look like kooks when you post rambling statements on completely unrelated articles. I have to deal with that stereotype because of morons like you.

      January 6, 2012 at 11:45 pm | Reply
      • HoyaLaw15

        No sir, you make yourself look like a kook.

        January 6, 2012 at 11:56 pm |
  91. Jason

    This is an injustice to these animals to be treated in this manner. However the law dictating how the anumals are considered is out dated but I can say that I understand things were different when it was written. I bet you could start a petition on Facebook and get the help of the ASPCA, Humane Society, all the armed services members, etc... to sign and get this law changed. I have to rescue dogs that mean the world to me and could not imagine what they would mean if I had to experience some of the situations theses soldiers have while on duty. My hat is off to both the 2 legged and 4 legged service members, thank you!

    January 6, 2012 at 11:26 pm | Reply
    • Hear Ye

      These are DOGS. End of conversation.

      January 6, 2012 at 11:35 pm | Reply
      • Chico

        I feel truly sorry for. Not!

        January 6, 2012 at 11:44 pm |
      • horseyone62

        You have clearly never had a dog and experienced the unconditional love they give. To just abandon these brave animals after all they have given is unthinkable. You are just a human, an insensitive one at that, quite expendable.

        January 7, 2012 at 12:13 am |
  92. lulz

    this is why dogs are better than cats. cause there is one right there parachuting out an effing plane gettin ready to bite someones face off. would not mind my tax dollars going to a fund to take care of these dogs after their service is up. full vet care and making sure they have a good home to live out the last of their years. the price really is negligible compared to defense spending already.......

    January 6, 2012 at 11:25 pm | Reply
    • Hear Ye

      Then you can pay .... I am not interested. Organize your doggie friends and have them contribute too. This is a perfect project for PETA – pay up goons.

      January 6, 2012 at 11:39 pm | Reply
  93. mchughliber

    let's not let this slide to the point where we're forcing soldiers to enter into a combat zones to pick up a dog. their dogs...

    January 6, 2012 at 11:21 pm | Reply
    • You mean they are

      Or they're...sure THEY ARE dogs, but they are also a companion. No one other than one's own mother will love you like a dog will. THEIR love ( dog's) is the only unconditional love that exists.

      January 6, 2012 at 11:31 pm | Reply
    • Eric of Reseda

      You aren't gettin' it. It's the handlers who want this, the soldiers who work with these dogs, because they know firsthand how these dogs save lives. It's the moral thing to do to bring them home. Even if there is risk.

      January 6, 2012 at 11:36 pm | Reply
  94. mesa

    if left behind that dog will b waiting for your return, even if others take care of them , they will b waiting because of that bond....bring the dogs home...

    January 6, 2012 at 11:21 pm | Reply
  95. Chicago Nick

    ""These dogs are more soldiers than they are equipment," said Debbie Kandoll, founder of Military Working Dog Adoptions. "

    Absolutely they're more than equipment and baggage!! They should even get paid somehow.. furry soldiers their handlers would say.... so will I.

    January 6, 2012 at 11:21 pm | Reply
  96. pop

    To every one bickering about dogs being mistreated,
    What's on your dinner plate tonight? a cow?

    All animals should be taken care of

    January 6, 2012 at 11:20 pm | Reply
    • Socks

      If cows want us to take them seriously, they should stop acting so goddamned delicious. They're asking for it.

      January 6, 2012 at 11:30 pm | Reply
    • darby

      Thank you. All animals are special and deserving of life. How odd it is that we categorize them as loving pets, prey or dinner.

      January 6, 2012 at 11:59 pm | Reply
  97. Commander Bubba

    Dogs are not as vain as human beings who work for rewards and metals. Dogs do what they are asked and ask for little in return. Forget awards but give them a bone. They will be happy.

    January 6, 2012 at 11:15 pm | Reply
    • Socks

      That kind of sounds like... slavery?

      January 6, 2012 at 11:31 pm | Reply
  98. debbie

    I agree the status of the dogs needs to be changed so that the "equipment" is not left behind to fend for themselves as the military did in Vietnam. As far as awards go, give the dog a bone and it will be happy. The award is really for the human but that's ok with me.

    January 6, 2012 at 11:04 pm | Reply
  99. And

    Besides all the bantering back and forth in the replies, isn't the pic cool of the soldier and his partner jumping out of the helicopter? What a team!!!!!!

    January 6, 2012 at 11:03 pm | Reply
    • James

      Yes it is, isn't it!!!

      January 6, 2012 at 11:27 pm | Reply
    • cab

      That is one kick-a$s dog.

      January 6, 2012 at 11:43 pm | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Leave a Reply to UTqPADBGPj


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.