War dogs: Blumenthal wants improved adoptions, honors for military canines

Gregory Bull/AP

A Democratic senator wants working military dogs to get more honors and homes.

The post-battlefield adoption and official recognition of courageous acts of military working dogs would be improved under a bill that Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., plans to introduce.

Appearing on Thursday at an event in Hartford with soldiers and National Guard officials, Blumenthal said: "Military working dogs routinely patrol ahead of the line -- put in harm's way to protect our troops.... These courageous comrades help detect and disarm roadside bombs and IEDs -- some of the deadliest threats to our troops.

"They are critical partners to our combat teams," Blumenthal said.

Even so, Blumenthal said, the Defense Department classifies the canines as "equipment," leaving the dogs' adopters or individual military units to bear the cost of transportation and care if they wish to bring them back home.

Blumenthal's bill would: establish a "retired military working dogs veterinary care fund," with private donations covering care costs to adopted and retired military dogs; standardize the adoption process and centralize efforts to place dogs without options when they retire out of Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. The same donated travel benefits used by service members could be applied to transporting the dogs to San Antonio. And the bill would enable the Defense Department to honor courageous or meritorious dogs, or those killed in action.

"Retired military working dogs often continue to serve at home in offering companionship and care to war fighters," added Blumenthal. "For their service abroad, these dogs deserve their loyalty and dedication to be returned when they are home."

"This is just the right thing to do for both our soldier handlers and their hard working battle buddy," said Maj. Gen. Thaddeus Martin, adjutant general and commander of the Connecticut National Guard, who joined Blumenthal in making the announcement.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

    Download
  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

    Download
  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

    Download
  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

    Download
  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.