Allow Military Dogs to Retire with their Former Handlers


Target: Members of U.S. Congress

Goal: Ensure that military dogs are brought back to retire in the U.S. and receive veteran benefits

In 2013, Congress passed a law giving the military the option to bring back service dogs to be reunited with their former handlers. However, this law does not provide a mandate and leads to many dogs waiting years to return to the United States and to the men and women with whom they served.

According to an NPR article, Marine veteran Deano Miller served with a yellow Labrador named Thor in Afghanistan. When Miller’s tour ended, he had to wait three and half years before he was reunited with his dog, admitting that he would wait ten years if it meant being back with his “shadow.”

Robin Ganzert, president of the American Humane Association, agrees with signing a bill that would allow the Department of Defense to make retiring military dogs in the U.S. obligatory. In effect, the bill would guarantee that the dogs would receive military transport back to the states and would ensure that their former handlers have the first opportunity to adopt them.  In addition, supporters of such a bill want the dogs to receive the same benefits as veterans, including medical coverage. Many of these dogs who served were responsible for rescuing soldiers, sniffing out explosives and being assigned to multiple tours.  As a result, these dogs experience the same difficulty adjusting to civilian life as many soldiers do.

By signing the petition below, you are urging Congress to mandate the return of military dogs to the United States and allow them the opportunity to be returned with the handlers they worked with while serving this country.


Dear Members of U.S. Congress,

In 2013 a bill was passed giving the military the option to bring back military dogs to the United States in order to be retired. However, the bill does not mandate their return, leaving many of their handlers waiting to be reunited with their dearest companions.

These dogs perform a noble duty as they help rescue soldiers, sniff out explosives and are placed on multiple tours. They are more than just pets; they are veterans as well. They deserve to be brought back to the United States to retire and have the opportunity to be adopted by the men and women they served with during their tours. I urge you to sign a bill that requires the Department of Defense to return these dogs and facilitate their adoptions with their previous handlers who wish to make them part of their families.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: United States Navy via Wikimedia Commons

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  1. paula eaton says:

    The dogs are soldiers and served our country just like the human soldiers. They need to be brought back at the same time as the human soldiers.

  2. This petition is great, and mentions the long waits before some dogs are brought back to the U.S., and hopefully even with their handlers if their handler wants to take them. But it seems to ignore the hundreds our military murders (oops, “euthanizes”). The last figure I saw was something like 1,200 from Afghanistan. The very least our military should do, as human beings, is to provide “no kill” shelters for these dogs.

  3. carmel euwen says:

    That is the least of what should be done for both soldier and dog!!

  4. boyd hore says:


  5. Hi! 🙂 Before this happens we have to make sure that the soldiers DON”T use their dogs for personal security.These beauties need a 100% safe environment to adjust to ‘normal life’.

    • You have no idea what your commenting about please go back to your rainbows and unicorns kinda life. US ARMY O.E.F. SOLDIER

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