There has been a lot of confusion and misinformation about the Canine Members of the Armed Service Act.
The original act, sponsored by Congressmen Walter Jones (R-NC) and Senator Blumenthal (D-CT), addressed three main tenets of Military Working Dog rights:
1. Retirement and Adoption of Military Working Dogs:
Authorizes the Secretary of the appropriate military department to transport retiring military working dogs to the 341st Training Squadron or another suitable location for adoption, if no suitable adoption is available at the military facility where the dog is located.
2. Veterinary Care for Retired Military Working Dogs:
Directs the Secretary of Defense to establish and maintain a system to provide for the veterinary care of retired military working dogs beginning on the date on which the dog is adopted.
3. Recognition of Service of Military Working Dogs:
Directs the Secretary of Defense to create a decoration or other appropriate recognition to recognize military working dogs that are killed in action or perform an exceptionally meritorious or courageous act in service to the United States."
The short of it is we got the transportation and medical care for our retired military dogs, but we took a swing and missed with our government’s recognizing our Military Working Dogs as members of the Armed Service.""
Reprinted with permission from Kevin Hanrahan
H.R. 4103 also stated, "`(f) Classification of Military Working Dogs- The Secretary of Defense shall classify military working dogs as canine members of the armed forces. Such dogs shall not be classified as equipment."
""Now here are the facts on the Canine Members of the Armed forces Act.
In 2012 the House pasted the full resolution of the Canines Member of the Armed Forces Act. But the Senate did not pass the full resolution.
It seems from what I have been told is that Senator McCain of Arizona who was Ranking member of the Armed Service committee did not want to reclassify our Military Working Dogs. So it was decided that reclassification would be removed from the Canine Members of the Armed Force Act, so the rest of the bill would be passed by the Senate.
One January 3, 2013 President Obama signed the Appropriations Bill which had attached the Canines Members of the Armed Forces Act attached which made into law.
Now in 2013 members of the Senate Armed Service Committee will work to get the reclassification issue back in the Appropriations bill for 2014.
Positions have change with the new Senate Armed Forces Committee. The Chairman of the committee is Senator Carl Levin of Michigan, which I understand has no problem with the reclassification of Military Working Dogs. Now here is where I think we have an ace in the hole, so to speak. The new ranking member of the Senate Armed Forces Committee is Senator John Inhofe of Oklahoma. Senator McCain is no longer ranking Member.
So here is what it breaks down to.
For the next year we will need to continuously contact our representatives and let them know that we want our Military Working Dogs to be reclassified to Canine Members of the Armed Forces and we won’t accept anything less.
I suggest contacting Senator Levin of Michigan and Senator Inhofe of Oklahoma. Make phone calls, send faxes, and send letters.""
Chairman – Senate Armed Service Committee
U S Senator – Michigan
Senator Carl Levin
269 Russell Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-2202
Phone (202) 224-6221
Fax (202) 224-1388
Ranking Member - Senate Armed Service Committee.
U S Senator- Oklahoma
Senator James M. Inhofe
205 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510 -3603
Main: (202) 224-4721
Fax: (202) 228-0380
Keep the pressure on Washington!
Reprinted with permission from Ron Aiello