Tom Aldrich with his partner… “WAR DOG SHANE”
serving in Korea 1964-1965 – – Dog Platoon – – K-9 Corp
When “MEMORIAL DAY” rolls around each year **** there is one “HERO” that I’m betting we almost all forget about!
Each and every WAR ***** required the services of well-trained DOGS – – – when it comes to having a totally unsafe situation – – – – you first round up the best qualified and trained person – – that person is your “PARTNER DOG” – – especially since they have their “five senses” working a hundred times better than us humans. REMEMBER **** your “SERVICE DOG” is in the best of health – they do not drink alcohol and they do not smoke – – they are so well-trained they are ready to WORK – – 24/7 – – and they can do what we are thinking – – will kill us – but the SERVICE DOG – – not knowing that this particular “JOB” – – just could require their LIFE!
Adopting a military working dog
It’s important to realize that these animals are unlike those you might have in your home or find in your local shelter. Not every retired MWD makes a great addition to the family. They’re highly trained – often for lethal purposes – and traits that are desirable in a military canine might make them unsuitable as a family pet. While fiercely loyal, they are often independent-minded and have different triggers, or trained responses, to various verbal or physical commands. In many cases, these dogs are not recommended for families with small children or other pets; some are deemed unsuitable for adoption for a variety of reasons, including extreme aggression.
Because of their unique temperaments and training, the military does not surrender these animals to shelters, rescues or sanctuaries for placement. All military working dog adoptions are handled through Joint Base San Antonio at Lackland, home of the Department of Defense Military Working Dog Adoption Program. Through a careful process of evaluation and selection, experienced military personnel place an estimated 300 “excessed” MWDs each year.
If a dog is still serviceable upon its disposition – or official retirement – from the military, adoption priority is given to civilian law enforcement. For dogs who are no longer able to serve, handlers get priority and then the general public.
Until recently, it was legal and common practice to abandon or put down military working dogs, known as MWDs, at the end of their useful service. Historically viewed as “surplus equipment,” they weren’t seen as having value beyond the military purpose for which they were trained. That mindset has changed dramatically, due in no small part to the public’s growing awareness of how these animals were treated after years of dutiful service. But it was one military war dog in particular – a dog named Robby – whose own fate changed that of other MWDs to come.Robby’s Law (H.R.5314) was signed by President Bill Clinton in November 2000 and required that all MWDs suitable for adoption be available for placement after their service. Unfortunately it was too late to save Robby, whose former handler fought valiantly to adopt him, to no avail.
At the TIME that TOM ALDRICH left the SERVICE – he was unable to adopt his DOG and PARTNER SHANE!
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