Honor Animals Helping America Achieve Freedom and Independence

Target: Lloyd Austin, U.S. Secretary of Defense

Goal: Advocate for restoration of full military honors for working animals displaying exceptional service.

Animals such as dogs and horses have been integral to military service since America’s war for independence. Today, over 1,600 dogs alone serve on the front lines with their human counterparts. And many of these animals conduct dangerous operations that can cost them their lives, such as sniffing out explosives.

At one time, these animals were honored for their courage and sacrifices. For example, a dog named Chips earned a Purple Heart, a Distinguished Service Cross, and a Silver Star during World War II. The German Shepherd mix had apparently helped capture enemy combatants. Yet after a protest, a department decided that animals were no longer worthy of the same honors as human beings. Chips himself nearly lost his medals. If this arbitrary dictate were in place prior to World War II, then countless brave animals would have never received the distinctions they deserved, including World War I’s Sergeant Stubby (a dog injured by both a grenade and mustard gas).

Sign the petition below to call on military officials to recognize and honor all of their heroic service members, both human and non-human.


Dear Secretary Austin,

She conducted over 400 missions relating to highly dangerous explosives in Afghanistan. Because of her contributions, no fatalities occurred on these missions. Yet she lost her leg from an IED. While this Marine Corps member displayed exceptional valor and courageous sacrifice, her Purple Heart remains “unofficial.”

Lucca’s bravery and her six years of highly dangerous service should be honored properly, as should the service of the 1,600-plus dogs and other animals who are utilized in the military today and the countless other animals who have helped this nation succeed since its inception. Whether they be dogs, horses, cats, or even birds, military working animals make invaluable contributions every day. And as service companion animals, many become a lifeline for veterans harmed physically or psychologically in battle.

Please help lift the ban on military animals receiving awards given to humans. On the front lines and under extreme duress, comrades and heroes know no distinction.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Patrick Neil

One Comment

  1. Animals are not inferior to humans. We are all animals. Humans are just the highest and oftentimes the lowest of the animal kingdom. These are animal heroes! They worked, they fought by our sides, helped us in aways we were unable to perform. Animals don’t stat wars, yet they love much deeper than humans. They stood with us at every turn. Many gave their lives. Yet humans deny them their honor. They were brave in their accomplishments. Let’s honor them, pour respect all over them, sing their praises and salute their victories!! Thank God for their presence in our lives!

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