In celebration of Memorial Day, we want to call your attention to a bill now before Congress. The Canine Members of the Armed Forces Act would ensure that our nation's military working dogs (MWDs) are respected and cared for in their retirement.
This bill reclassifies military working dogs as "canine members of the armed forces" instead of "equipment," and ensures that responsibility for the health and well-being of the dogs continues after their retirement from service.
The bill has three major provisions:
- standardizes practices for adopting retired MWDs
- directs the Department of Defense to designate a nonprofit entity to establish a system of veterinary care for retired MWDs
- establishes a formal means of recognition for courageous and meritorious dogs
This legislation recently passed the US House as part of a larger military policy bill. Please contact your Senator and ask them to cosponsor S.2134, the Canine Members of the Armed Forces Act. You can do this very easily at the ASPCA Advocacy Center (www.aspca.org/militarydogs).
Military working dogs help keep us safe and perform important work around the world. We share this tribute to military working dogs and their handlers and wish you all a peaceful Memorial Day.