Dogs throughout history have proven that they are capable of great feats of bravery and compassion.
They’ve sniffed out explosive devices and unearthed drugs that humans can’t find.
Every day they lead their blind owners to safety and provide emotional support to those that need a comforting presence nearby.
Most especially, true hero dogs have been valuable without measure in wartime for decades.
In fact, during World War II, the UK realized the importance of their canine compatriots and created the Dickin Medal, an award they give to animals who exhibit heroism in times of conflict.
You’d think that after their years of dedicated service, military dogs would be living the rest of their days frolicking in large, grassy backyards with a devoted family.
But sadly, this isn’t always the case.
Kevin and Dazz, two Belgian Shepherds who spent years sniffing out improvised explosive devices in Afghanistan, have been denied that relaxing retirement to a canine utopia.
In fact, their post-service treatment has people around the world up in arms.
These pups might have survived years of dangerous, bomb-seeking work, but now their lives are even more at risk right here on their home soil.
They have spent their lives in the service to the military, as a companion as well as a fellow soldier.
Now, the military is turning its back on them.
Indeed, military chiefs have made a decision regarding these two heroes’ futures that have sparked controversy:
Because Kevin and Dazz evidently cannot be re-homed, the powers that be decided they must be put to death.
Stunningly, both dogs face the same punishment that hardened and unrepentant criminals receive…death by lethal injection.
Their crime? Having been trained by the military to the point that they require specialized handling.
“This is such a cruel way to treat these animals that have given us so much,” one of the dogs’ previous handlers said.
“People who worked closely with these dogs are devastated at the plans—they’ve begged to save them all.”
In protest, quite a few of the dogs’ previous handlers and advocates wrote to the commanding officer at the Defence Animal Centre.
But military leaders are standing firm.
Despite the protests of those who know the dogs and can attest to their character and ability to interact with humans, the bosses just aren’t listening.
Outrage at the dogs’ fates generated a lot of support for an online petition started by former SAS Sergeant Andy McNab, who seeks to save Dazz, Kevin, and a former police dog named Driver.
On the petition, Sergeant McNab wrote:
“Experienced handlers have come forward to say they want to house the much-loved dogs, who have helped save hundreds of lives.”
But will the petition be enough to win the fight?
McNab has every right to protest this unjust ruling by his superiors.
He owes his very life to these dogs!
Sergeant McNab detailed his own experience with bomb-sniffing dogs.
“In Afghanistan when I was on a patrol, the dogs found an IED in front of us. I was number three in line.
I was very, very lucky to survive.”
Another ex-military man made a prominent push to save the dogs as well.Allen Parton, founder of a charity called Heroes for Hounds that provides specially trained dogs to disabled veterans, told The Independent:
“These dogs do wonderful things, and some are trained to be attack dogs and other things, and this makes them harder to home.”
The fact that they can’t be housed with civilians is irrelevant.
He points out again that many professional handlers have come forward offering responsible homes for these well-training fighting machines.
But the commanding officer says he isn’t going to take any chances, especially after a recent incident in which a former army dog bit a civilian, The Sun reported.
“Wherever possible we endeavor to re-home military working dogs,” an army spokesperson told The Sun.
“Sadly there are occasions where this is not possible.”
Those occasions occur far more often than they would like us to know.
In 2012, The Mirror reported that 807 military dogs had been put down in the prior decade.
We can only hope that it’s not too late to save Dazz, Kevin, and Driver.
Thousands across the world are fighting for the lives of Dazz, Driver, and Kevin, and you can, too, by signing Sergeant Andy McNab’s petition here.
As of this writing, over 350,000 have signed the petition…will it be enough?
Source: Honest To Paws