Douglas Montero reports for The National Enquirer*, June 19, 2014:
(*Please note that it was the National Enquirer that, alone, pursued and broke the story of former Democrat senator and VP candidate John Edwards’ adultery and illegitimate child, for which the tabloid was nominated for a Pulitzer.)
In a heartbreaking tragedy of war, more than 1,200 brave military dogs used to protect troops in Afghanistan and elsewhere were killed by our government after they were retired, The National ENQUIRER has learned.
The heroic service dogs were euthanized because they were deemed too “dangerous” for civilian adoption or jobs with law enforcement agencies, as well as for medical reasons according to U.S. Air Force reports given to Congress.
Shockingly, 16 retired pooches that once worked as guards or bomb sniffers were “put down” between 2001 and 2005 simply because “they were not wanted” by anyone, according to official documents.
Army Specialist Luke Andrukitis was so upset by the practice that he tracked down and found his bomb-sniffing Belgian Malinois – a fearless pooch that had saved many lives, including his, in Afghanistan during a nine-month deployment in 2013.
Side note: Read more about Andrukitis’ efforts to find his bomb-sniffing dog Robbie here.
“(The euthanasia) is absolutely horrible!” he said. “They served their country just like we did.”
The military maintains a force of about 2,500 dogs worldwide, with about 1,000 of them stationed at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio.
Although more than 400 “retired” dogs are adopted every year, many have been deemed unsuitable for adoption because of their “repeated unprovoked aggressive action,” said Collen McGee, a spokeswoman for Lackland.
But animal rights activist Beverly Gaines insists that the military is not doing enough to rehabilitate the dogs or find them a suitable home.
Currently more than 300 people are waiting to adopt a military dog, with an average waiting time of 18 months.
“We don’t have dogs waiting for homes,” said Collen. “We have people waiting for dogs.”
Update (June 21, 2014):
After two comments by clearly illiterate readers (see here and here) who, being IQ-challenged and deficient in English reading comprehension skills, somehow read the Enquirer article to mean only a total of 16, instead of 1,200, military dogs had been euthanized, I found a PDF document, United States Air Force Report to Congressional Committees: 2011 Military Working Dog Adoption Report, December 2011. On page 3 of the report is stated:
“In CY11 [calendar year 2011] … a total of 116 MWDs [military working dogs] died while serving on active duty…. 16 MWDs were euthanized because they were unsuitable for law enforcement transfer and too dangerous for adoption.”
In other words, 16 military dogs were euthanized in just one year, 2011.