Every veteran dog owner will be elated with the newest bill mandated as a part of the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Both the House of Representatives and Senate, along with President Barack Obama himself, have signed a bill mandating that every military dog will be returned to the United States soil after retirement.
In addition to that, their human handlers and families will be given priority for adoption.
According to the American Humane Association, each military dog saves between 150-200 soldiers’ lives by detecting IEDs and hidden weapons.
“This is a momentous day for all veterans,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, American Humane Association president and CEO. “We applaud Congress and the president for passing and signing the bill with the language we provided, and stepping up for our brave K-9 Battle Buddy teams who have benefited, and will continue to benefit, from their service together.”
This law will help honor military dogs like Bernie, a Belgian Malinois. Bernie was trained to sniff more than 14 different explosives. Her handler soldier, Bret Reynolds loved her while they were serving in Iraq and loved her all the more when they returned home together.
When Bernie passed away, Reynolds was able to honor her life as a hero through a special memorial service. It is unfortunate that most military dogs do not go home with their handlers or even return to the U.S. With this new legislation they are now treated with the dignity that every soldier deserves.
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