Two bills in Congress would extend retirement health benefits to military work dogs.
The identical bills in the House and Senate, introduced by Sen. Richard Blumenthal(D-Conn.) and Rep. Walter B. Jones (R-N.C.) would offer life-time health benefits to dogs that serve in the military’s K-9 detachment.
The bills would authorize the Secretary of Defense to allow a private entity to raise donations for the care of retired work dogs. Currently, adopters of the dogs must sustain all associated medical costs, even for wounds sustain on duty or in combat.
Both bills are in the Armed Service committees of their respective chambers.
Currently, military work dogs are designated as equipment under Department of Defense guidelines. Both bills would create a separate designation for the dogs.
“Retired military working dogs often continue to serve at home in offering companionship and care to our veterans,” Blumenthal said in a statement. “For their service abroad, these dogs deserve their loyalty and dedication to be returned when they are home.”