Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Military War Dogs ... The Ongoing Efforts On Their Behalf

Please Google "Hoffman and Baddy".  On their GoFundMe page at you'll find a poignant and breathtakingly beautiful picture of U.S. Marine Corp. veteran Cpl. Charlsie Hoffman, and Baddy the military war dog who served alongside her.  Read about the struggle Cpl. Hoffman had in meeting Baddy's medical needs as soon as he was written-off as no longer needed military equipment. 

The rest of the story which you will find when you do the Google search, will tell you how the loyal military dogs who served in Vietnam were just left behind to meet what was most likely a cruel fate, when our human soldiers were hastily withdrawn and sent back to the U.S. ... and the legislative barriers met over a period of years when good people tried to enact a law that would recognize military war dogs as veterans rather than discarded equipment ... and that would ensure medical treatment for them.

Over the years, I've come across a number of heart-wrenching stories of service men and women who were not allowed to adopt or otherwise rescue their military dogs and were forced to abandon these beloved companions who had been through so much with them.

There was proposed legislation called the "Canine Members of the Armed Services Act" drafted and promoted bi-partisanly by Senators Blumenthal and Jones; its purpose was to establish veterinary care for retired MWDs as "canine members of armed forces" rather than as "equipment".  As I understand it, the language of the bill was changed by substituting the word "may" for the word "shall", thereby rendering the bill impotent.  And so, the situation drags on and these noble dogs who serve alongside their handlers are still unprotected when they are dismissed from military service.  

Three non-profit organizations/foundations that give medical financial help to the dogs of those wonderful handlers who do manage to bring their MWDs home with them are:

Gizmo's Gift;; Lisa Phillips, president, CEO, founder
107 Meadows Way, Converse, TX 78109; 210-587-9754;

Sage Foundation (For Dogs Who Serve); 104 Stone Barn Circle, Holly Springs, NC 27540;

Combat Canines; located in Fayetteville, NC.
A donation to one of these organizations helps to provide funds for medical help to MWDs.

Hopefully, our government will recognize and respect the valor and service of these dogs and make it easier for them to remain with their handlers when they leave the military.