As dog lovers, we all know that our best friends are truly incredible creatures and on March 13th we recognize and honor our “dog soldiers” on K-9 Veterans Day.
No matter what our dog’s roles are, we know they contribute so much to make our lives happier, healthier and safer each and every day.
History of K-9 Veterans
Not only do men and women serve our country, but dogs started being called to duty after the first world war. During this time, the United States noticed that the European army used dogs for service duties. This national holiday was created because March 13, 1942 was the first day that the U.S. Army officially started using K-9 Corps (K-9 being a homophone for canine) and these Dogs of Defense proved to be fearless, dedicated and well-trained.
- Over 30,000 dogs have served in the military since March 13, 1942, when the US Army K-9 Corps was born (source)
- Approximately 2,800 dogs are in military service today (source)
- K-9 Veteran’s Day is not yet an official holiday. Some states have recognized it and there is currently a petition to make it a National Holiday (source)
Training for these Dogs
Only about 50% of military dogs make it through the rigorous training. Canines are great for military services because of their sharp minds and abilities. They are able to serve our country alongside of the men and women who fight for us.
Service to Our Country
Different breeds are used for different things. Just to name a few, K-9s are used for:
- Logistics & Communication
- Detection & Tracking
- Sentries (Guard Dog)
- Police Dogs
Today we recognize all of the efforts of all of the K-9 Veterans who have served their country and their soldiers well. They have truly made a difference by protecting and serving our country.
Read about the petition started by Kennel Club of Fort Atkinson, WI. This group is willing to recognize a broad group of service dogs in this holiday.
Do you have a story to tell about a K-9 Veteran? Share your thoughts with us below!