Honoring the Military Working Dog

It’s our pleasure to announce the AVMA’s support of a national monument that will, for the first time, officially recognize the contributions and sacrifices made by military working dogs to the safety and security of our nation and our troops abroad. 

The AVMA Executive Board recently endorsed the Military Working Dog Teams National Monument as an expression of the association’s respect and appreciation for the invaluable role working dogs play in the military. Military working dogs have served our country gallantly in many theaters, and it is fitting and proper that the largest veterinary medical association in the world should help recognize these unheralded heroes and what they have done – and continue to do – for our nation both at home and abroad. 

The monument will be located on the grounds of the new National Museum of the United States Army, which is under construction at Fort Belvoir, Va., just 25 minutes from Washington, D.C.

The monument will be open to the public, with dedication expected to be held in the fall of 2013. The monument also will be open to dogs, as stipulated in the federal legislation that approved its construction. 

The monument portrays a military dog handler with the four primary military working dog breeds – a Doberman pinscher, a German shepherd, a Labrador retriever and a Belgian Malinois. 

The AVMA and its philanthropic arm, the American Veterinary Medical Foundation, are helping build support for the monument through outreach initiatives geared toward our members and the general public. For more information about the monument and how you can help, visit the Military Working Dog Teams National Monument website.

One thought on “Honoring the Military Working Dog

  1. Endorsement of the Military Working Dog Teams National Monument is an excellent decision of the AVMA Executive Board. However, there is something we can also do about the care of living canine veterans. Unlike during the Vietnam War when nearly 5,000 dogs were killed or abandoned rather than be returned to the U.S., all veteran military dogs can now be adopted and there is an excess of applicants willing to adopt. However, potential adoptive owners are expected to pay $1,000 to $2,000 in commercial airfare to bring canine Gulf veterans back because military policy is to discharge the dogs overseas preventing them from being brought back at little government expense on already scheduled transport flights. This policy needs to be changed, and the AVMA should push for the change. After risking their lives and saving our soldiers lives, our canine veterans deserve a government sponsored trip home.