What My Dog Jenny Wants You To Know On Veterans Day

Meet Jenny, she is a 12 and-a-half year old arthritic Samoyed German Shepard abominable snow dog. She is a sweet old soul and enjoys being pulled around Washington DC in her wagon.

Like me, Jenny is into social media, she’s also on twitter. A couple weeks ago, our friend Karima suggested to me that Jenny could help raise awareness about service dog organizations and how these service dogs also need to be cared for after they’ve completed their service.

I did some research to see what programs were available and found the Official Adoption Website of the DoD Military Working Dog.

Here is what their website says:

“The 341st Training Squadron provides trained military working dogs (MWDs) used in patrol, drug and explosive detection, and specialized mission functions for the Department of Defense (DoD) and other government agencies. Conduct operational training of MWD handlers and supervisors. Sustain DoD MWD program through logistical support, veterinary care, and research and development for security efforts worldwide.”

Here are the some of the answers to their Frequently Asked Questions:

Why are these dogs available for adoption?

Most of our dogs that become available for adoption at Lackland Air Force Base are relatively young dogs that have failed to meet training standards, while others (generally the field units) are older dogs that have completed their service and are being made available for adoption. Still others are being medically retired from service due to injury or sickness that will preclude them from performing the mission.

Is any priority given to veterans or other persons?
Title 10 US Code 2583 gives priority first to civilian Law Enforcement Agencies, then to prior handlers, and finally to the general public. In the event that a dog’s age or fitness precludes it from being considered for Law Enforcement duties, then a former handler is most often selected. Better than 90% of former MWDs are adopted by their handlers at field units.

Where are the dogs located?
Two programs exist. Dogs that have been/are assigned to bases around the globe are adopted (when approved for retirement/separation) from the location they are assigned. The Kennel Master at that base is the person who best knows the status of their assigned K9 Heroes. Keep in mind that quite often former handlers, with priority rights under Public Law, adopt their former comrades. Also, Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas sometimes has promising dogs available for adoption, but not always.

What can you tell me about the dogs?
All our Military Working Dogs are trained at Lackland Air Force Base and then sent to operational units throughout the DOD. The dogs are usually a German Shepherd, Belgian Malinois, Labrador Retriever and occasionally a mixed breed or other sporting/herding breed dog. They range in age from 1 year to 13 years of age, and include both males and females, although they are spayed or neutered before being adopted. For more information look here.

Jenny also wants you to know that dogs also serve our veterans!

I found a cool organization called America’s VetDogs. America’s VetDogs, a subsidiary of the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind, works with veterans of all eras, and with the military, to meet the need for innovative assistance dog training. They provide guide dogs for veterans who are blind; service dogs for those with disabilities other than blindness; physical therapy dogs to work with amputees in military and VA hospitals; and combat stress relief dogs to be deployed overseas with combat stress control teams.

Want to get involved?

1) Read more about America’s VetDogs at http://www.vetdogs.org
2) Like America’s VetDogs on facebook
3) Follow America’s VetDogs on Twitter

As we give thanks, let’s also remember our veteran canines too.

With gratitude,

Joseph and Jenny Porcelli


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