Sign a Proclamation for an annual K9 VETERANS DAY - March 13
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We Pennsylvanians support an annual K9 VETERANS DAY – March 13
(photo above by Chris Crawford, United States Army)
Centre County Report on K9 Veterans Day:
March 13, 1942 was the official start date of the United States K9 Corps. The U.S. K9 Corp was the result of a successful project spearheaded by the DOGS FOR DEFENSE that acquired and trained dogs for the U.S. Military. Many of the first dogs who served were family pets donated by American families. They assisted our soldiers as messengers and sentry dogs to keep the soldiers safe during WW2. Many of these heroic dogs never came home and those that did continued to mean the world to those who donated them, the handlers who worked with them, and the many servicemen whose lives were saved by them.
Since March 13, 1942 many dogs have continued to serve and protect the interests of the United States of America. Many of these four legged heroes have given their lives protecting American interests. The military working dogs (MWDs) were eventually designated “equipment” by the Department of Defense (DoD). With the classification of “equipment” they were not to be honored with medals or ribbons. Many were left behind on foreign soil. Many were euthanized rather than deprogram them to civilian life or pay the expense for shipping them back to America.
Since the turn of the century the American public has begun to change the demise of our four legged heroes. We support President Clinton signing Robby’s Law into effect in November 2000 requiring the immediate termination of the Department of Defense (DoD) practice of euthanizing military working dogs at the end of their useful working life. Robby's Law allowed for the adoption of retired military working dogs by law enforcement agencies, former handlers of these dogs, and other persons capable of caring for these dogs. Many groups have since started doing fundraising to get some of these MWDs home and into adoptive homes.
We support the special efforts of Vietnam War Veteran and dog handler, John Burnam. The John Burnam Monument Foundation (non-profit ) is pushing forward with the fundraising for the first National Military Working Dog Monument, something that has been long overdue. It is hoped that the National monument twill be erected at Fort Belvoir, VA (just south of Washington D.C.) by October 2013. The project has recently picked up two big sponsors in Natural Balance and Petco and the monument will be a reality soon!
We support Representative Walter B. Jones (D-NC), the same Representative who backed the first National Military Working Dog Monument , who has teamed up with Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) to introduce legislation titled the “Canine Members of the Armed Forces Act” which would finally take U.S. military working dogs (MWDs) out of the category of “equipment” and make them bona fide “Canine Members of the Armed Forces.” The legislation will help our K9 veterans by facilitating the adoption process, developing a system for veterinary care for the retired military K9, and developing a way to recognize the Military Working Dogs for their service.
Finally we most certainly support the effort behind a National K9 Veterans Day. K9 Veterans Day was started by Joseph J. White of Jacksonville, Florida who was also a Vietnam War Veteran, K9 handler and trainer. Unfortunately, Joe White died on October 24, 2009 and he did not get to see his dream come to pass but many have since taken up his mission of a National K9 Veterans Day on March 13. So far five states have passed state proclamations for an annual K9 VETERANS DAY on March 13th. Joe White’s intent was to honor all dogs who have served this nation and continue to serve this nation. Besides the military working dogs he also included police dogs, search & rescue dogs, and veteran assistance dogs in the design of K9 VETERANS DAY.
Following the original effort started by Joseph J. White, the members of the Working K9 Association of Central Pennsylvania (WKACP) and many other Pennsylvania residents wish to see the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania recognize an annual K9 Veterans Day on March 13 by accomplishing the following:
- Signing this petition to show the public support for this effort to legislators and PA Governor Tom Corbett .
- Supporting all local efforts in PA to support recognition of K9 Veterans Day on March 13.
Once a Proclamation has been signed we would like to see the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania join the effort with other states that have the same state proclamation such as Florida, Tennessee, Kentucky, Michigan and New Jersey, and to ask the Federal government to recognize an annual K9 VETERANS DAY on March 13th.
(Deadline: As long as it takes.)
For more information and updates on supporting a K9 VETERANS DAY here in Pennsylvania please go to our facebook site:
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