They serve without complaint, saving countless lives and providing our soldiers with much-needed companionship in the heat of battle. And when they come back to the states, many of them are left homeless.
Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal aims to change that by introducing a bill that would create a nonprofit fund to provide for easier adoption and care of retired military dogs.
“My dog is seven years old, so by the time we come back he will be nine,” said Sgt. Gabriel Rosario of the Connecticut National Guard. “At that point of time the way the adoption process works it’s going to be a lot longer. This bill will help us to get that process faster and to have the aid to provide for the dog after he retires.”
The military does not provide medical care when the dogs retire, and historically, has not done a great job of looking after them. They are currently classified as equipment in the military, which leaves “the dogs’ adopters or individual military units to bear the cost of transportation,” according to a press release from Blumenthal’s office. Senator Blumenthal thinks that’s a far cry from the treatment our nation’s four-legged hero’s have earned.
“It’s about really caring for truly heroic animals that save lives of our war fighters abroad,” Sen. Blumenthal said. “Many of these dogs come back and they provide companionship particularly for our wounded or disabled veterans.”
Their handlers could not agree more, and say it’s about time something was done to acknowledge the importance of these fearless, hard working canines.
“He’s like a family member to me, he definitely is, he’s a part of me,” Rosario said.