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K9 Heroes

K9’s Veterans Day, March 13


Dogs have held crucial roles in American conflicts since the Civil War.

Nearly 5000 K9s served in the Vietnam War, where their exceptional hearing and sense of smell helped to save a reported ten thousand U.S. Troops.

Their effectiveness put a bounty on their heads. High rewards were set for acquiring a dog handler’s shoulder patch or the tattooed ear of a service dog.

The U.S. Government considered Vietnam-era service dog equipment, with no plan to evacuate the four-legged warriors as the conflict ended. Service dogs were left to the South Vietnamese, where many were euthanized.

In the end, only about 200 dogs made it home to America.

Through consistent effort, service dog handlers won an incredible victory with Congress’s passing of “Robby’s Law” in 2000. This law requires the Secretary of Defense to submit a report to Congress each year on the placement of prior service dogs.

K9 Heroes come from all over the world. However, there is a push to use only American-bred dogs for service. The DOD Military Working Dog Breeding Program, known as “The Puppy Program,” is housed at the 341st Training Squadron at Joint Base San Antonio, where 50-to-90 puppies are born into the program each year.

To find out more about “The Puppy Program” and how you might get involved, visit the program’s Facebook page at


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