IN a heartbreaking tragedy of war, more than 1,200 brave military dogs used to protect troops in Afghanistan and elsewhere were killed by our government after they were retired, The National ENQUIRER has learned.
The heroic service dogs were euthanized because they were deemed too “dangerous” for civilian adoption or jobs with law enforcement agencies, as well as for medical reasons according to U.S. Air Force reports given to Congress.
Shockingly, 16 retired pooches that once worked as guards or bomb sniffers were “put down” between 2001 and 2005 simply because “they were not wanted” by anyone, according to official documents.
Army Specialist Luke Andrukitis was so upset by the practice that he tracked down and found his bomb-sniffing Belgian Malinois – a fearless pooch that had saved many lives, including his, in Afghanistan during a nine-month deployment in 2013.
“(The euthanasia) is absolutely horrible!” he said.
“They served their country just like we did.”
The military maintains a force of about 2,500 dogs worldwide, with about 1,000 of them stationed at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio.
Although more than 400 “retired” dogs are adopted every year, many have been deemed unsuitable for adoption because of their “repeated unprovoked aggressive action,” said Collen McGee, a spokeswoman for Lackland.
But animal rights activist Beverly Gaines insists that the military is not doing enough to rehabilitate the dogs or find them a suitable home.
Currently more than 300 people are waiting to adopt a military dog, with an average waiting time of 18 months.
“We don’t have dogs waiting for homes,” said Collen.
“We have people waiting for dogs.”