March 13, 2013 – Tuesday March 13 is National Canine Veterans Day in the USA, honours the service and sacrifice dogs have contributed to the US military.
According to animal welfare organisation American Humane, it was on March 13, 1942 that the United States Army began training dogs for the newly established War Dog Program, or “K-9 Corps” and they became a critical part of the armed forces.
An annual tribute to honor the service and sacrifice that these dogs have made for their country, National K9 Veterans Day pays tribute to military dogs and countless other canines serving the USA —from police dogs, to border patrol dogs.
American Humane has worked to support the US Military and our human and animal warriors for more than 100 years, said it is proud to recognize the heroic contributions of these brave animals on National K9 Veterans Day, and every day.
“With the support of internationally renowned philanthropist and veterans’ advocate Lois Pope, the organization champions efforts to support military heroes at both ends of the leash through its Lois Pope LIFE Center for Military Affairs. The center helps reunite retired military dogs with their former handlers, provide veterans struggling with Post-Traumatic Stress with lifesaving service dogs, arranges free veterinary care for retired four-legged service members, and drives legislation that supports military dogs and their human counterparts.”
In 2016, American Humane successfully lobbied for a provision to the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would ensure that military dogs are returned to American soil after their retirements. Prior to the passage of the 2016 NDAA, military working dogs were not guaranteed retirement on the home front, and some were retired overseas, making them civilians and rendering them ineligible for transportation home on military aircraft.
American Humane also works to honour retired military dogs who demonstrate exceptional valour. The annual American Humane Lois Pope LIFE K-9 Medal of Courage awards, which are held each July on Capitol Hill, are the nation’s highest honour for military dogs.