Military Working Dogs Get Brighter Future
On January 2, 2013, President Obama signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2013 (H.R. 4310), which authorizes the Secretaries of the various military services to transfer back to Lackland Air Force Base, or another location for adoption, any Military Working Dog (MWD) who is to be retired and for whom “no suitable adoption is available at the military facility where the dog is located.” This language is needed to ensure that the military returns MWDs to the United States for a chance to get the retirement they deserve, and prospective adopters are not faced with the expense of transporting them stateside. The bill also authorizes the Secretary of Defense to create a program to provide veterinary care to adopted retired MWDs. (Such a program will not involve federal funds.) Rep. Walter Jones, Jr. (R-NC) and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) sponsored the original legislation on which these new provisions are based.