War veterans are often welcomed home as the heroes they are. Parades and other celebrations usually mark their return to the United States. However, 12 military, bomb-sniffing dogs were brought to a kennel in Chester, Virginia, in February 2014. Greg Meredith of the kennel said that the dogs were supposed to stay there for just weeks while they were rehabilitated for civilian life. Instead, they have essentially been abandoned. Like their human counterparts, some of the dogs suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder; some even took prozac because of their suffering. Weeks turned into a year-and-a-half as red tape and confusion ruled.
These dogs are credited for saving thousands of soldiers’ lives in Afghanistan and Iraq. Meredith told the tale of Ranger, one of the dogs who found seven IEDs, saving thousands of lives. Meredith called Ranger a “real American hero,” and stated the following according to NBC Channel 12.
“They’ve been abandoned. This is not the life that they deserve, nor is it how this country should take care of its soldiers.”
Finally, half of the dogs will be reunited with their prior handlers if they can be found. The rest of the dogs will be matched with new adopters. Two national rescue groups, Mission K9 Rescue and U.S. War Dogs, will help with the efforts. “Mission K9 stated the following, according to the Examiner. MissionK9 to the RESCUE! We have partnered with the US War Dogs Association to rescue 12 Hero Dogs and help out a kennel owner stuck with THOUSANDS in bills from a dishonest contractor.”
Although Meredith indicated that he is owed about $150,000 for caring for the dogs, he doesn’t regret doing so–even though he doesn’t think that he’ll ever be paid. He notes that the dogs are heroes and deserve to be treated as such, and is glad they are going to finally receive homes, and he stated the following according to NBC Channel 12.
“It’s the least that we can do to take care of them, because they’ve taken very good care of us, to protect our freedoms. This is a long time coming, these dogs have served their country and served their country boldly and with distinction.”
Some military dogs are treated like the real heroes they are. Buster, the arms and bomb-detecting dog, was a true military hero. He served five tours of duty in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Bosnia, and is thought to have saved over a thousand — perhaps thousands — of lives. The 13-year-old springer spaniel passed away at his handler’s home in Lincolnshire. Buster had recently retired, enjoying life with his handler and two other dogs. Flight Sergeant Will Barrow was his handler and had even written a best-selling book about his many exploits, entitled Buster: The Dog Who Saved A Thousand Lives, according to an article in the Inquisitr.
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