The Army is planning to spend $370,000 to keep 12 dogs warm in the winter.
The 12 German shepherds, used to patrol and sniff out bombs and drugs, now live in outdoor doghouses at Fort Myer in Northern Virginia. But Army officials have decided the dogs need more comfortable quarters.
So they are going to build an indoor shelter, which, based on the present size of the K-9 contingent, will cost about $30,000 a dog.
"Considering how much it costs to train these dogs, that's not much," said Dr. Lynn Hissett, veterinarian to the dogs as well as the 31 horses kept at the military post in Arlington. "The dogs are capable of living outside, but they will be more comfortable in the indoor kennel," Hissett said.
The 370,000 cost of the indoor kennel was part of the $5.4 billion military construction bill for 1981 that was cleared Wednesday by the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Sen. John W. Warner (R-Va.), a member of the committee, cited the Fort Myer kennel appropriation and others in a news release as an example of the Defense Department spending that has been channeled to Virginia. Virginia he said, continues to rank second among all states in the amount of money authorized for military construction.
Altogether, $140.4 million has been authorized for such construction in Virginia. In addition to the $370,000 doghouse, $330,000 has been authorized to improve officer housing at Fort Myer.