Today is National K9 Veterans’ Day! This day is meant to honor all military and working dogs for their service and sacrifice for our nation. The United States K9 Corps was established March 13, 1942. An effort began to honor those who served in the military as well as working dogs. This day honors those K9’s working in military, police, customs, border patrol, service, therapy and other dogs who work to protect and serve.
Here are some facts about military dogs:
- Dogs have been in combat with US soldiers during every major conflict, but they were not officially recognized until WWII.
- They are trained in bomb, weapon and drug detection, tracking, and to attack the enemy.
- There are about 2500 dogs in active service today and about 700 deployed overseas
- 85% of military working dogs are purchased from Germany and the Netherlands.
- They are extremely valuable, and not just for their service.
- Only about 50% make it through training.
- They aren’t all German Shepherds.
- They can get PTSD.
- They mourn the loss of their handler and vice versa.
- Until November 2000, military dogs were euthanized or abandoned after retirement.
Thank you to all of the K9 military and service dogs. To read more about these facts go here.