Until 2000, military working dogs (MWDs) were discarded, warehoused or euthanized at the end of their service. There was no law allowing for their adoption and retirement. However, that changed when President Clinton signed a bill, known as "Robby's Law," to facilitate the adoption of retired MWDs. Since that time, countless families and retired dogs have been united, but there is still much more to do. While retired military dogs are now available for adoption, some fail to enter the system simply because of their location overseas. It makes sense for the military to take responsibility by bringing MWDs back to the US at the completion of their tour, but they're not. Retired MWDs are reclassified as "surplus equipment" and discarded if there is no immediate home.
We worked with the top D.C. lobbyist from Animal Welfare Institute to end horse slaughter in 2011. A couple of years ago, we worked with him on the Canine Members of the Armed Forces Act, sponsored by Representative Walter Jones, Jr. (R-NC), in the House, and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) in the Senate. That would have done several important things, including requiring the military to return MWDs to the US upon completion of their service overseas, so they could enter the adoption program at Texas' Lackland Air Force Base.