BALTIMORE (WJZ) — An effort is underway to bring home some of the most dedicated heroes in the U.S. military.
Pat Warren reports military war dogs are being left behind, and now, the American Humane Association is asking Congress to help reunite them with their handlers.
Army Sergeant Jason Bos and military working dog Cila have been through the war.
“We had some challenging times in Iraq, but we both made it out safely and I’m very grateful for that. And I have to thank Cila for that,” Sgt. Bos said.
Cila and others like her are estimated to have saved hundreds of lives.
“I’m her partner. I’m there to read her, guide her, help her. But she’s the one who’s smelling these explosives out,” said Bos.
Mission K-9 Rescue believes no-man-left-behind needs to apply to man’s best friend as well.
“The very thing that ran ahead of you to make sure there were no explosives in your footpath so you could safely do your job,” said Kristin Maurer, Mission K-9 Rescue.
Reuniting these canine soldiers with their handlers has become a priority for the American Humane Association.
“He’d patrol out in front of us. He was trained that way to be out in front. So he’d go be anywhere from 25 to 50 meters out there. And when he’d alert on something he’d lay down and point at it, like, there’s something here,” one soldier said. “I’d give him a toy, good job, you found it. We confirmed two of them over there. It was great because were the only pair that got them.”
Supporters say dogs retired abroad should be guaranteed transport home — just as Sergeant Bos is now home with his family.
“And without [Cila], I couldn’t have done that,” he said.
The Department of Defense can mandate the return of military dogs to the U.S. Right now, those dogs can be adopted overseas.
Mission K-9 Rescue is a nonprofit group that helps secure adoptions for military dogs.
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