National K9 Veterans Day is a day when we honor our veterans’ canine companions. For one day, we are united in our admiration for our nation’s veteran dogs. The 13th of March has been designated as a day to celebrate and remember the service and sacrifices made by American military and working dogs throughout history.
A lot of things changed after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941. Rations were imposed on oil, leather, and rubber. Men had to be drafted. Women rolled up their sleeves and helped to construct battle supplies. Dogs were summoned.
During World War I, the United States became aware of the European usage of canines as sentinels, messengers, bomb-strapped ambushers, and more. Shortly thereafter, Mrs. Alene Erlanger started the Dogs for Defense program to train dogs for military usage with the help of the American Kennel Club and a few breeders.
The first Dogs for Defense were ready for duty in North Africa by November or 1942. They were gun-shy at first, but they quickly proved to be well-trained. Dogs for Defense was unable to keep up with demand as the war proceeded, however, so the Remount Branch, Service Installations Divisions took over the training of the dogs.
K9 units have been trained in several ways by the military, police, and fire departments over the years. Their training is adapted to the job’s requirements, and each animal and handler performs to the best of their abilities.
According to American Humane, the United States Army started training for its new War Dog Program, often known as the “K-9 Corps,” on March 13, 1942, marking the first-time dogs were formally a component of the United States Armed Forces.
Sergeant Stubby, America’s first dog of war, fought valiantly on the Western Front. Chip, the most decorated dog in World War 11, and Lex, the Navy Seal working dog on the bin Laden operation, both retired with their fallen owners’ families.
On March 13, 2022, use the hashtag #NationalK9VeteransDay on social media.