Petition asks Obama to allow burial of service dogs at military cemeteries

Euro the dog with civilian handler Mike Wilcox, right, attached to the 293rd Military Police Company are preparing for an operation in southern Afghanistan. Euro the dog with civilian handler Mike Wilcox, right, attached to the 293rd Military Police Company are preparing for an operation in southern Afghanistan. Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP

A new We The People petition is asking the Obama administration to give military service animals the right to a soldiers burial at military cemeteries.

The creator, “P.D.” from Glendale, Ariz., referred to the story of Mina, a dog that served nine tours in Afghanistan, was promoted to sergeant and received an honorable discharge from the military.  A family member of Mina’s handler asked a staffer at the Veterans Affairs Department’s Great Lakes National Cemetery if Mina could be buried there, but was told that canine burials were not possible.

“Please immediately change the rules regarding internment of non-human soldiers in hero's cemeteries and provide a proper soldiers funeral for these brave veterans,” P.D. wrote. “They don't get VA benefits, they don't get a pay check, [and] it’s the least we can do to honor them.”

According to the New York Times, there were more than 600 dogs serving in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2011. After sustained pressure from animal rights groups, Congress passed an amendment in December to the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act that streamlined the adoption process and authorized veterinary care for retired service animals.

As of Friday afternoon, the petition still needed more than 98,000 signatures by Feb. 23 to receive an answer from White House staff. However, the petitioners could perhaps take solace in the work of John Burnam, a veteran who organized an eight-year effort to create the first national monument for military dogs. His work culminated in the opening of the U.S Working Dogs Team National Monument in California this past October.

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:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

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