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America's Military Working Dogs Need Our Help

Thursday, July 5, 2012 - 3:15pm

Guest Blog from Lisa Phillips, Founder and CEO of the Retired Military Working Dog Assistance Organization

Independence Day is one of America’s most celebrated holidays. It is a day to reflect on America's freedom and the wars that were fought, and are still being fought, to keep us free. Many remember our two-legged heroes, but few realize that there are also four-legged heroes who have fought and died for America.

My name is Lisa Phillips, and I was a vet tech in the Army, taking care of our nation's Military Working Dogs (MWDs). During five years of active duty, my passion and love for these animals grew. I saw firsthand the key roles these loyal and dedicated heroes play in keeping America safe. When I was in the process of being medically discharged in 2005, I adopted my first MWD from Lackland AFB: Gizmo A085. I was his vet tech for the previous two years. In 2007, I was able to adopt MWD Bianca W229, also from Lackland.

MWDs are currently classified as equipment by the military. Equipment doesn’t breathe or bleed; dogs are living breathing creatures, not equipment. When their service to our country is completed, they are considered excess equipment and our country's responsibility for them ends. My love for these heroes is what kept me going on my mission to reclassify them and get help with their medical expenses and final transportation after they are retired.

U.S. Representative Walter Jones of (R-NC) and U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)  have introduced in Congress the Canine Members of the Armed Forces Act. This bill has bicameral and bipartisan support to reclassify our MWDs as "canine members of the armed forces" instead of equipment, provide financial help with medical bills after they retire via a non-profit, provide final transportation via donated frequent flyer miles, and decoration or other appropriate recognition to recognize particularly meritorious and courageous military working dogs.

On this Independence Day you can help our MWDs win their independence from being classified the same as a table, a chair or a computer and contact your two U.S. Senators and ask them to sign on as a co-sponsor of the Canine Members of the Armed Forces Act. 

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Dan Berman

These are loving, living, breathing dogs, not equipment. Do the right thing.

Tammy Dyson-Ward

These 4 legged HEROS need our help and deserve it too! We have cannot and SHOULD not forget them! They go EVERYWHERE and EXPECT nothing but LOVE in return. Is this how we thank them? These animals are deserving of ALL we can do for them. They do ANYTHING and EVERYTHING for us!!

Tammy Dyson-Ward

These 4 legged HEROS need our help and deserve it too! We have cannot and SHOULD not forget them! They go EVERYWHERE and EXPECT nothing but LOVE in return. Is this how we thank them? These animals are deserving of ALL we can do for them. They do ANYTHING and EVERYTHING for us!!

Dr. Wendy Chrisman

Please sign on as a co-sponsor of the Canine Members of the Armed Forces Act. We need to honor all who serve this country with their lives and their time.

Nicole

I hope people decide to help these brave soliders

Dr. Justin Pepperney

Dogs are never "equpiment," but especially not when they are serving the country in wartime battle or preperation.

Ashley Murphy

America's Military Working Dogs have done and will continue to serve their great country. They are not ony an incredible asset, they are heroes. They should be treated in such a way that is ethical, since our country represents the very idea of freedom and justice. These loyal animals are grateful and proud. They deserve a chance, just like everybody else. Thank you for your time and consideration.

amy lynch

Please support the Canine Members of the Armed Forces Act. These dogs are animal heroes not equipment. They should be treated like the heroes they are.

Brad Savage

DOGS ARE GOD'S CHILDREN, TOO!!!!! PLEASE LOVE THEM, NOT MISTREAT THEM!!!!!

Laura Satterfield

I am really shocked to read that these hard working, loyal dogs aren't receiving the respect that they deserve after their service!

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