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Ocean 03-15-2009 09:28 PM

Iraq withdrawal
 
Now, that the timetable has been set for withdrawal from Iraq, does anyone know the military's current policy on working dogs?

The reason I am wondering is that dogs were of course classified by the military as equipment during the Vietnam War and the infamous decision was made to either euthanize or leave behind more than a thousand dogs, almost all GSDs, in Vietnam at that time. Perhaps the saddest episode in the history of our beloved breed.

There are now newspaper articles discussing what to do with all the equipment in Iraq. Wonder if there is any plan thus far, on what to do with all the dogs?

allieg 03-15-2009 09:33 PM

Re: Iraq withdrawal
 
I would hope times have changed and dogs wouldn't be disposed of like they use to.

Ocean 03-15-2009 09:57 PM

Re: Iraq withdrawal
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWXi6f4T_X0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxdt9...eature=related

Interesting difference in the music...reflective of the eras..but the GSD is there always.

katieliz 03-15-2009 11:26 PM

Re: Iraq withdrawal
 
hi ocean, i must agree with you, i have always felt it is the very saddest episode in the entire history of our beloved breed. i ran across a web site once with stories from some of our soldiers who went through all that...i had to leave the site, i could not read more. may it never ever happen again.

foader 03-15-2009 11:39 PM

Re: Iraq withdrawal
 
More then likely they will be moved over to the push in afghanistan.

foader 03-15-2009 11:42 PM

Re: Iraq withdrawal
 
But just an FYI according to the handlers i've asked for the working dogs here are all one rank higher then their handler. They deploy with their handler and then redeploy when their handler does.

AbbyK9 03-16-2009 01:41 AM

Re: Iraq withdrawal
 
At the end of the Vietnam War, the official reason why dogs were not returned to the United States was that they could bring the disease ehrlichiosis, which (at the time) was not found in the United States back into the country. The illness was not officially recognized as being found in the US until after the Vietnam War, and we now know that it is transmitted by the brown dog tick.

At the end of the Vietnam War, the dogs were either turned over to the South Vietnamese, or euthanized, but a number of dogs were also sent to other bases in Asia, such as Korea and Japan, where they would finish their service life, but would not be returned to the US.

Since then, military working dogs have deployed much like soldiers do - they go overseas and return stateside when their deployment is over. They sometimes change handlers, but they now try to keep dogs and handlers together if at all possible, especially for detector dogs where a good rapport between dog and handler is so important to make sure the handler doesn't miss the dog's subtle clues when alerting.

As we now have dogs on pretty much every base, there are dogs needed all over the place. The dogs that will be pulled from Iraq will go elsewhere, stateside or overseas, where they are needed, as will their handlers.

And yes, Foader is correct. The dogs now are one rank higher than their handlers. The reasoning behind this is to prevent bad treatment of the dogs - it would be handled the same as assaulting an NCO. The rank isn't carried on official documents or anything, though, as it changes depending on the handler they are assigned to. So you wouldn't see, SSG Fluffy on any paperwork. Just Fluffy followed by the tattoo number.

Ocean 03-16-2009 01:49 AM

Re: Iraq withdrawal
 
Quote:

Originally Posted By: Historiandogs were either turned over to the South Vietnamese
As I understand it, most people think these GSDs ended up in the stew pot in the chaos and lack of food. Euthenasia would have been a preferable end. The South Vietnamese gov't of course immediately collapsed as soon as their army was defeated, so the dogs did not end up turned over to any organized group.

AbbyK9 03-16-2009 03:01 AM

Re: Iraq withdrawal
 
Yes, that's the general consensus. The South Vietnamese army was on the brink of collapse when most of the dogs were turned over, so the dogs that were turned over often ended up turned loose, shot, and yes, some likely ended up in the pot where food was short.

There are still dog meat dishes found in the Vietnamese culture, although many Vietnamese families have pet dogs as well.

ladylaw203 03-16-2009 09:04 AM

Re: Iraq withdrawal
 
Quote:

Quote: The reason I am wondering is that dogs were of course classified by the military as equipment during the Vietnam War and the infamous decision was made to either euthanize or leave behind more than a thousand dogs, almost all GSDs, in Vietnam at that time. Perhaps the saddest episode in the history of our beloved breed.
Surely you are kidding. First of all the dogs in nam were all breeds and donated. Patrol dogs. The MWD now are bomb,narc,patrol, SF worth a bunch of bucks. There are tons of private contracted bomb dogs in the middle east because the military does not have enough. DOD is buying dogs for training by the plane load. Again these dogs well trained,certified dogs. MWD program is NOTHING like it was in Nam.....do not worry about those dogs


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