Start A Petition

War Dog Adoption Requests Rise Following Bin Laden Mission!

Animals  (tags: war dogs, adoption, on-the-rise, goodnews, pets )

- 2951 days ago -
SAN DIEGO -- Life after the military is looking brighter than ever for America's four-legged veterans since one of their own helped in the mission to kill Osama bin Laden.


We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.


Charles B (19)
Wednesday May 25, 2011, 8:53 am
"All dogs are super dogs"...Yes indeed!
Thank you Barbcat!

Melody A (135)
Wednesday May 25, 2011, 9:00 am

This is the best news ever!! Get each of these angelic lives a home to love and care for..
Thank You BarbCat...

Barb K (1685)
Wednesday May 25, 2011, 9:11 am
War dog organizations say the number of people asking about adopting retired military canines has risen dramatically since the mission involving Cairo, the Navy SEALs dog tasked with tracking anyone who tried to escape from bin Laden's compound and alerting the special operations forces to anyone approaching.

While about 300 retired U.S. military dogs are put up for adoption each year, military officials say they've received more than 400 adoption applications in the three weeks since the May 2 raid. In past generations, most military dogs were euthanized once their tours of duty were done.

"They made a really big deal about Cairo being a super dog but all dogs in the military are super dogs," said Ron Aiello, president of the U.S. War Dogs Association. "These dogs are fully trained, are worth probably $40,000 to $50,000 each at least, and it's a dog that has been saving American lives. It's kind of a hero in a way."

Aiello, a dog handler for the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War, started his organization with other former dog handlers to teach Americans about the long and often sad history of the dogs that have been deployed with troops.

The attack on Pearl Harbor sparked the U.S. military's interest in war dogs, which Germany and France used in World War I. Prior to the Vietnam War, the canines were trained to be fierce attack dogs that greatly distrusted humans. But the military soon found that limited them too much and started training German shepherds and other breeds to be patrol dogs.

Today, military dogs are used to find explosives, insurgents and drugs, and to help search for missing people. Some are so highly trained they can work off leash and follow commands whispered by their handlers through a specialized communication system attached to the dog.

The dogs are credited with saving thousands of lives. Last year, Aiello said, a dog on patrol in Iraq detected a fertilizer bomb on the other side of the door in a building. The dog sat down and alerted U.S. troops, who spotted the explosive by looking under the door.

If the dog had not sat down, troops would have opened the door and the building might have blown up, killing all inside.

Story continues below

AdvertisementOther times, the dogs can only do so much. When a sniper's bullet struck Pfc. Colton Rusk in Afghanistan, the first to reach his body was his best friend Eli a bomb-sniffing, black Labrador so loyal he snapped at other Marines who rushed to his fallen handler. Rusk died Dec. 6. His parents have since adopted his dog.

After the Vietnam War, only 204 of an estimated 4,900 war dogs returned to the United States, according to military dog organizations. The others were euthanized, given to the South Vietnamese army or abandoned by soldiers trying to save the dogs.

That changed in 2000 when President Bill Clinton signed a law allowing the dogs to be adopted. Dog lovers say the military has made dramatic strides since then. Last year, 338 dogs were adopted, including 34 that were given to police departments or other government agencies.

None are euthanized now, said Gerry Proctor, a spokesman for Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, where the military's dog adoption program is based.

"All the animals find a home," he said. "There's a six-month waiting list right now for people wanting to adopt. And (the applications) have gone up substantially since the raid."

The nonprofit Military Working Dog Adoptions has received over 300 inquiries in the past two weeks, said Debbie Kandoll of Las Cruces, N.M., who founded the organization after getting her first war dog in January 2008. Her group and Aiello's help raise awareness about the retired dogs, make sure they are treated well and help people through the process of adopting the animals.

Aiello said the most common breeds for military canines are Belgian Malinois, Dutch shepherd, German shepherd and Labrador retriever. They are generally older than 10 when they retire, and some have a litany of medical problems.

"They only have a couple of years left, so why not have them spend it with a loving family where they're not going to hear gunfire go off, explosives go off," Aiello said.

Not all the dogs could do well in a home with, say, children or other pets, but some are remarkably docile after spending years on the battlefield.

A dog named Chyba was deployed to Iraq before Madeleine Pickens, wife of billionaire T. Boone Pickens, adopted her last year. Pickens said Chyba is a sweet, relaxed dog who is happiest stretched out in the shade of a tree.

It's not cheap to adopt a military dog, in large part because adoptive owners often have to pay $1,000 to $2,000 to bring them back to the U.S. on commercial flights. Putting a retired dog in a crate on a military cargo flight is against the rules.

When dogs are adopted, they no longer belong to the military, "so it would be fraud, waste and abuse for the DOD to transport that pet," Maj. Gen. Mary Kay Hertog told the Air Force News Service in 2009.

Officially, military dogs are considered equipment, and retired dogs are excess or surplus equipment. Kandoll wants the military to reclassify the dogs as canine veterans. That would take an act of Congress, but it could also ensure that all dogs shipped out of the United States are brought back.

"Uncle Sam gave the dogs a ride over. He should give them a ride back," Kandoll said.

"To me, it's like leaving a soldier behind," said Pickens, who spoke in Encinitas last month at the dedication of a monument to military working dogs.

It's unlikely that Cairo will have any trouble getting adopted, but military officials aren't saying how far the dog is from retirement. They aren't releasing his age or any other details about the special operations canine because his work is classified.


Sue Manning reported from Los Angeles.

Regina P (63)
Wednesday May 25, 2011, 11:05 am
Noted with thanks. Such amazing dogs.

Patrizia S (315)
Wednesday May 25, 2011, 11:11 am
Geat news. Thank you Barb

Beth M (138)
Wednesday May 25, 2011, 11:14 am
These military dogs deserve the same care and respect as their human counterparts. I read this article in the local paper this morning and was horified to find that in the past many of these dogs were euthanized. How sad! Couldn't they have been used as police dogs, service dogs, or military mascots? They still had so much to give!

Natividad P (104)
Wednesday May 25, 2011, 12:09 pm
Noted. Without any doubt are some incredible animals. Thank you BarbCat

Jeanne W (55)
Wednesday May 25, 2011, 12:32 pm
Fantastic news, Thanks, Barbcat...

Stelizan L (258)
Wednesday May 25, 2011, 12:36 pm
These are ALL incredibly intelligent and highly trained animals but even here in SA you get emails doing the rounds of 'retired' dogs up for adoption, with the extremely sad result that they get euthanized if they cannot find a suitable home. High trained and skilled dogs sometimes only 'work' for a few years before being retired - I believe each and every one of them deserve to live the rest of their lives in peace as payment/in appreciation of the duties that they performed.

Sarah G (109)
Wednesday May 25, 2011, 12:58 pm
I hope these wonderful dogs will get the care they deserve-- it is the least we humans can do after putting them in so much danger for our own ends!

Barb K (1685)
Wednesday May 25, 2011, 1:15 pm
I pray that the SA retired dogs will be better taken care of, Stella! It's a shame that dogs worldwide don't get the respect they so richly deserve! Personally, if I had a Military dog, there'd be nothing I wouldn't do for him/her!!

Constance F (418)
Wednesday May 25, 2011, 1:50 pm
Another great post Barbcat, and good news! Dogs have served us for centuries, and it's shameful and disgusting how we return their loyalty. A few have awoken to how we are nothing without the other species that exist. Without all of them. I just read a post about War horses, millions used and died in wars. And the US government is busy rounding them up and shoving them in pens. How perfectly unpatriotic of the US government. HA! They should resurrect a memorial for them, and let the wild horses roam free.

Cindy C (125)
Wednesday May 25, 2011, 2:09 pm
aww god bless them they are wonderful and we should appreciate them more awww

Shelly P (213)
Wednesday May 25, 2011, 2:11 pm
The work that I have done for the last 3 1/2 years has given me the priviledge of meeting so many of our USA Military Special Force Army People...and part of the business was making "Special awards and dedications"...for the fallen, survivors and ALL Heros!!!.....These Men and Woman are ONE with their Dogs!!!!
I wish, I could share with you everything I have seen that was created, finalised or just plain "put together"....
and I can guarantee you, every time a civilian cares, it brings our Military Heros to their knees, saying "Thankyou , for caring so much!!!"

Helen R (30)
Wednesday May 25, 2011, 3:18 pm
Noted.....Precious furbabies...XXXX

Nimue Michelle Pendragon Gaze (339)
Wednesday May 25, 2011, 6:55 pm
Noted, thanks.

Marilyn M (145)
Wednesday May 25, 2011, 7:47 pm
Noted. Thank you for posting, Barb.

Melody A (135)
Wednesday May 25, 2011, 8:50 pm
The Shepherd's Dog
by Mary Darby Robinson

A Shepherd's Dog there was; and he
Was faithful to his master's will,
For well he lov'd his company,
Along the plain or up the hill;
All Seasons were, to him, the same
Beneath the Sun's meridian flame;
Or, when the wintry wind blew shrill and keen,
Still the Old Shepherd's Dog, was with his Master seen.

His form was shaggy clothed; yet he
Was of a bold and faithful breed;
And kept his master company
In smiling days, and days of need;
When the long Ev'ning slowly clos'd,
When ev'ry living thing repos'd,
When e'en the breeze slept on the woodlands round,
The Shepherd's watchful Dog, was ever waking found.

All night, upon the cold turf he
Contented lay, with list'ning care;
And though no stranger company,
Or lonely traveller rested there;
Old Trim was pleas'd to guard it still,
For 'twas his aged master's will;--
And so pass'd on the chearful night and day,
'Till the poor Shepherd's Dog, was very old, and grey.

Among the villagers was he
Belov'd by all the young and old,
For he was chearful company,
When the north-wind blew keen and cold;
And when the cottage scarce was warm,
While round it flew, the midnight storm,
When loudly, fiercely roll'd the swelling tide--
The Shepherd's faithful Dog, crept closely by his side.

When Spring in gaudy dress would be,
Sporting across the meadows green,
He kept his master company,
And all amid the flow'rs was seen;
Now barking loud, now pacing fast,
Now, backward he a look would cast,
And now, subdu'd and weak, with wanton play,
Amid the waving grass, the Shepherd's Dog would stay.

Now, up the rugged path would he
The steep hill's summit slowly gain,
And still be chearful company,
Though shiv'ring in the pelting rain;
And when the brook was frozen o'er,
Or the deep snow conceal'd the moor,
When the pale moon-beams scarcely shed a ray,
The Shepherd's faithful Dog, would mark the dang'rous way.

On Sunday, at the old Yew Tree,
Which canopies the church-yard stile,
Forc'd from his master's company,
The faithful TRIM would mope awhile;
For then his master's only care
Was the loud Psalm, or fervent Pray'r,
And, 'till the throng the church-yard path retrod,
The Shepherd's patient guard, lay silent on the sod.

Near their small hovel stood a tree,
Where TRIM was ev'ry morning found--
Waiting his master's company,
And looking wistfully around;
And if, along the upland mead,
He heard him tune the merry reed,
O, then ! o'er hedge and ditch, thro' brake and briar,
The Shepherd's dog would haste, with eyes that seem'd on fire.

And now he pac'd the valley, free,
And now he bounded o'er the dew,
For well his master's company
Would recompence his toil he knew;
And where a rippling rill was seen
Flashing the woody brakes between,
Fearless of danger, thro' the lucid tide,
The Shepherd's eager dog, yelping with joy, would glide.

Full many a year, the same was he
His love still stronger every day,
For, in his master's company,
He had grown old, and very grey;
And now his sight grew dim: and slow
Up the rough mountain he would go,
And his loud bark, which all the village knew,
With ev'ry wasting hour, more faint, and peevish grew.

One morn, to the low mead went he,
Rous'd from his threshold-bed to meet
A gay and lordly company!
The Sun was bright, the air was sweet;
Old TRIM was watchful of his care,
His master's flocks were feeding there,
And, fearful of the hounds, he yelping stood
Beneath a willow Tree, that wav'd across the flood.

Old TRIM was urg'd to wrath; for he
Was guardian of the meadow bounds;
And, heedless of the company,
With angry snarl attack'd the hounds!
Some felt his teeth, though they were old,
For still his ire was fierce and bold,
And ne'er did valiant chieftain feel more strong
Than the Old Shepherd's dog, when daring foes among.

The Sun was setting o'er the Sea
The breezes murmuring sad, and slow,
When a gay lordly company,
Came to the Shepherd's hovel low;
Their arm'd associates stood around
The sheep-cote fence's narrow bound,
While its poor master heard, with fix'd despair,
That TRIM, his friend, deem'd MAD, was doom'd to perish there!

The kind old Shepherd wept, for he
Had no such guide, to mark his way,
And kneeling pray'd the company,
To let him live, his little day !
"For many a year my Dog has been
"The only friend these eyes have seen,
"We both are old and feeble, he and I--
"Together we have liv'd, together let us die!

"Behold his dim, yet speaking eye!
"Which ill befits his visage grim
"He cannot from your anger fly,
"For slow and feeble is old TRIM!
"He looks, as though he fain would speak,
"His beard is white--his voice is weak--
"He IS NOT MAD! O! then, in pity spare
"The only watchful friend, of my small fleecy care!"

The Shepherd ceas'd to speak, for He
Leant on his maple staff, subdu'd;
While pity touch'd the company,
And all, poor TRIM with sorrow view'd:
Nine days upon a willow bed
Old TRIM was doom'd to lay his head,
Oppress'd and sever'd from his master's door,
Enough to make him MAD--were he not so before!

But not forsaken yet, was he,
For ev'ry morn, at peep of day,
To keep his old friend company,
The lonely Shepherd bent his way:
A little boat, across the stream,
Which glitter'd in the sunny beam,
Bore him, where foes no longer could annoy,
Where TRIM stood yelping loud, and ALMOST MAD with joy!

Six days had pass'd and still was he
Upon the island left to roam,
When on the stream a wither'd tree
Was gliding rapid midst the foam!
The little Boat now onward prest,
Danc'd o'er the river's bounding breast,
Till dash'd impetuous, 'gainst the old tree's side,
The Shepherd plung'd and groan'd, then sunk amid the tide.

Old TRIM, now doom'd his friend to see
Beating the foam with wasted breath,
Resolv'd to bear him company,
E'en in the icy arms of death;
Soon with exulting cries he bore
His feeble master to the shore,
And, standing o'er him, howl'd in cadence sad,
For, fear and fondness, now, had nearly made him MAD.

Together, still their flocks they tend,
More happy than the proudly great;
The Shepherd has no other friend--
No Lordly home, no bed of state!
But on a pallet, clean and low,
They hear, unmov'd, the wild winds blow,
And though they ne'er another spring may see;
The Shepherd, and his Dog, are chearful company.

NICKY M (119)
Thursday May 26, 2011, 2:26 am
Well, 'Sunshine lady'... you are living up to your name today!! Many thanks for this GOOD news!! bless you!

Past Member (0)
Thursday May 26, 2011, 7:56 am
"Putting a retired dog in a crate on a military cargo flight is against the rules."

that is a rule that needs to change. isnt it just like the government to use and animal then treat it like it is disposable.

Tami M (61)
Thursday May 26, 2011, 8:50 am

tracey p (81)
Thursday May 26, 2011, 9:10 am
These dogs need to be rewarded for their work. They need to be allowed to go to America with those who have trained and looked after them.

Penelope Ryan (178)
Thursday May 26, 2011, 3:32 pm
I pray it is not a fad and these dogs have foever homes.

MarietteAWAY G (175)
Thursday May 26, 2011, 3:41 pm
Noted. Couldn't have said it better Stella. Thanks for this forward Barb!

Carlene V (202)
Thursday May 26, 2011, 4:14 pm
Thanks Barb, great article and happy for the dogs.

Pat B (356)
Thursday May 26, 2011, 4:58 pm
Great comments!!! LOVED the poem!! Thank you, Barb for this.

Jill V (416)
Saturday May 28, 2011, 4:05 am
Im so glad, thanks Barb.

Patricia Myers (73)
Tuesday May 31, 2011, 11:15 am
Very pleased to read thanks Barb

Ruth C (87)
Wednesday June 1, 2011, 8:52 am
Animals always love and care for people, its just sad that not many people do the same for Animals!
Or, log in with your
Facebook account:
Please add your comment: (plain text only please. Allowable HTML: <a>)

Track Comments: Notify me with a personal message when other people comment on this story

Loading Noted By...Please Wait


butterfly credits on the news network

  • credits for vetting a newly submitted story
  • credits for vetting any other story
  • credits for leaving a comment
learn more

Most Active Today in Animals

Content and comments expressed here are the opinions of Care2 users and not necessarily that of or its affiliates.

New to Care2? Start Here.