Target: United States President, Barack Obama
Goal: Thank President Obama for ensuring military dogs are no longer left overseas after their service.
Thanks to a lengthy campaign by the American Humane Association and the ForceChange community among others, it will now be mandatory for military dogs to be retired to the United States. President Barack Obama has signed a bill into law guaranteeing the return of all military dogs to U.S. soil. First rights of adoption will be going to these dogs’ former handlers and their families, to whom they mean so much.
Previously, military dogs who ended their service abroad were no longer considered Army personnel and were therefore ineligible to be transported home on military aircraft. These dogs were often put up for adoption overseas, sometimes waiting in kennels for indeterminate lengths of time, or, in some cases, victims of abuse. Some dogs were returned to the U.S., but this involved a lengthy and costly process funded by charities or former handlers themselves. In one particular case, a Marine veteran had to wait three and a half years and foot the bill himself to be reunited with Thor, the yellow Labrador he served with in Afghanistan.
Now, thanks to the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act, retired military dogs will get to go home after years of service, instead of being abandoned overseas. Considering that one service dog saves the lives of 150 to 200 servicemen and women, it was time for these animals to get the treatment they deserved. Even after retirement, these dogs bring a lot to veterans living with post-traumatic stress syndrome, making it all the more beneficial for their former handlers to be able to adopt them easily and rapidly.
Sign this petition thanking President Obama for taking this positive step for military dogs.
Dear President Obama,
Thank you for taking steps to ensure all military dogs will now be retired to the United States and easily adoptable by their former handlers. Previously these dogs were left overseas, put up for adoption there and sometimes forced to wait in kennels for indeterminate lengths of time, or, in some cases, become victims of abuse.
The 2016 National Defense Authorization Act you just signed into law will finally allow these animals to be sent home to be adopted by familiar people, rather than abandoned abroad. With it being estimated that one service dog saves the lives of 150 to 200 servicemen and women, it was high time for these animals to get the recognition they deserved. Even after retirement, these dogs can bring a lot to veterans living with post-traumatic stress syndrome, making it all the more beneficial for their former handlers to be able to adopt them easily and rapidly.
Thank you for taking action and helping to greatly improve the lives of our nation’s military dogs.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Brett Clashman