An NPR member station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Bill Fights For Military Dogs Future; One Returns Home After War

Flickr - U.S. Department of Defense. Credit: Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo

Oregon Senator Ron Wyden's latest legislation is going to the dogs. If the U-S armed forces pay for their warriors to come home after their service in combat zones, why shouldn't military working dogs get the same deal?

Oregon's senior senator Ron Wyden thinks they should, and his new bill - he calls it the Military Working Dog Retirement Act of 2015 - would require the Pentagon to pay for transportation back home when dogs are injured or retired.

Right now, he said, about 2-thousand military working dogs are simply left for adoption in the country where their service ends.

Military dogs are commonly used to sniff out roadside bombs or other explosives.

Wyden's new bill got quick support from an Oregon group which helps re-train service dogs for veterans.

Michelle Nelson, who founded the Paws Assisting Veterans Service Dogs - PACE for short - said military dogs have put their lives on the line for our military, and they deserve to be transported back to the US to be reunited with their handlers.

How far Wyden's bill will get in a Congress grappling with weightier defense spending matters remains to be seen.

Lucy Labrador Returns to Owner After War 

A former US Marine war dog made news in Western Washington over the Memorial Day weekend. A Labrador retriever named Lucy had suffered a stroke on her second tour of duty in Afghanistan.

When her former handler, Lance Corporal Matthew Walters, heard of her plight, he arranged for her transportation and adoption in Tacoma.

The bond between the two is said to be quite strong - so strong that when Walters left home to visit his family over the weekend, Lucy broke out of her yard and went looking for him.

Someone in Eatonville, Washington found her three days later, and Walters and Lucy have been re-united.

Related Content