National K9 Veterans Day Is March 13

We want to salute all the K9 Veterans and Military Working Dogs this National K9 Veterans Day. 

March 13th is K9 Veterans Day and a day to appreciate the special K9s and service dogs of the American military.

Veteran’s Day is an important time to appreciate the brave Americans who have served in the United States Armed Forces. In honoring all veterans, we cannot forget the brave military working dogs and K9 units that have served throughout history. That is why we also honor our four-legged service members on K9 Veterans Day.

Most people know these dogs are an asset to the military, specially trained to find explosives, act as sentries, alert to danger, used for border patrol, or guide their human comrades. These dogs receive extensive training to protect human lives while on duty, but what happens to military working dogs after their working contracts are up and they are no longer serving their country? 

Pitbull Sgt. Stubby, World War I hero and mascot for the 102nd Infantry, 26th Division

Robby’s Law

Under “Robby’s Law” (H.R.5314), after their service, and as long as they are healthy for placement, military working dogs are placed with former military handlers, other law enforcement agencies, or private adoptive families who have met the criteria for adoption, according to the U.S. Air Force Website.

Under the protection of this law, these dogs are able to live out their lives performing the work they love or with those they have built a strong bond with. 

Many people advocated for the rights of military working dogs to be protected and to ensure they have the best possible retirement from service to our country, and to ensure they are mentally and physically nurtured.

Studies are being performed on the notable, lasting effects of the military service on these dogs, including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). 

There are many who believe the dogs from retired military units suffer from many of the same symptoms as their human veteran counterparts. Advances are being made in treatments for veteran dogs with these disorders.

United States K9 Corps & War Dog Program

A war dog program officially began in 1942. When the U.S. entered World War II, the American Kennel Association and Dogs for Defense group took dogs to the Quartermaster Corps of the U.S. Army for training

According to

“The Quartermaster Corps would ultimately hand off responsibility for what later became known as K9 Corps dogs, K-9 Working Dogs, or simply military working dogs. Security Forces would take over responsibility for the dogs and since have served in many major conflicts including the Vietnam War, Korean War, and the raid which killed terrorist mastermind Osama Bin Laden.”

Thank you, K9 vets!

hero dog sage

Veterans of all military branches, and of all species, deserve recognition and respect for their service to our country, on Veteran’s Day and every day. 

Remember to take a moment to honor and thank those that have selflessly served in the armed forces. All gave some, some gave all.

If you have a special K9 Veterans Day story or K9 to honor, please let us hear it. We will be happy to feature them!

If you want to thank them on social media, tag a U.S. Military hero and use the hashtag #nationalk9veteransday