Today (May 19) is "Armed Forces Day". A day to recognize those who selflessly serve our Country. Let's not forget some very important members of the armed forces who lay their lives on the line right next to the men and women of our military or sometimes, INSTEAD of risking the lives of our brave men and women.
Our pets play very special roles in our lives, and their importance to us is reflected in our nation’s anti-cruelty laws and other measures enacted for the good of companion animals. But because their roles are so different, working animals (like service dogs) often are not afforded the same protections as pets. At the ASPCA, we are always working to close this gap.
You can help by urging your Congress members to cosponsor and pass the following federal bill that would extend critical protections to military dogs
Purpose: To classify military working dogs as "canine members of the armed forces" instead of "equipment," establish adoption policies for retired dogs, create a non-profit entity to raise funds for retired dogs' veterinary care, and to establish a formal means to honor dogs killed in action or who show exceptional courage in the line of duty.
Why Now? Saturday, May 19 is Armed Forces Day, and Memorial Day is fast approaching—what better time to recognize all those who selflessly serve our country?
U.S. S. 2134—Canine Members of the Armed Forces Act
Sponsor: Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)
ASPCA Position: Support
Action Needed: Call and email your U.S. senators in Washington, D.C., and urge them to cosponsor the Canine Members of the Armed Forces Act. Military working dogs
(MWDs) help keep us safe and perform important tasks that can be difficult, if not impossible, for humans. Unfortunately, they are currently classified as “equipment” by the U.S. Department of Defense. This classification not only trivializes these animals’ contributions, it also makes it difficult to transport dogs serving in foreign lands back to the United States for adoption once they’re ready for civilian life. Additionally, retired MWDs often require expensive veterinary care for health issues related to their service. While the ASPCA recognizes the value of incorporating animals in the military, we believe military animals should be treated humanely every step of the way—from training right through retirement. Our government’s commitment to these heroic animals’ well-being must extend beyond the period of military service. In order to better recognize their contributions, the Canine Members of the Armed Forces Act will reclassify MWDs as “canine members of the armed forces” (instead of “equipment”) and will institute programs to assure their health and well-being after retirement from service—all without using federal funds.
What You Can Do. The House of Representatives is moving forward with this provision, and now we need the Senate to act as well. Please take two quick actions today:
1) Use the email below to contact your two U.S. senators and urge them to cosponsor the Canine Members of the Armed Forces Act. Please customize your message in the space provided.
2) Follow up with brief phone calls to your senators in Washington, D.C. Tell them that you are their constituent and ask that they cosponsor S. 2134, the Canine Members of the Armed Forces Act. Find your senators’ names and phone numbers here.