People who knew little about dogs thought that a highly trained military dog would not be able to adjust to civilian life.
That all changed when Congress passed Robby’s Law in 2000.
Robby’s handler had made every effort to adopt his companion, but he was euthanized anyway. Although the law didn’t save Robby, the law allows for the adoption of retiring military dogs. Officially they are considered obsolete equipment.
Today none of the adoptable dogs are euthanized. In fact, there is a waiting list of people wanting to give them retirement homes.
A dog is offered first to discharged former handlers, then to law enforcement and finally to qualified families.
Understandably the screening process is quite stringent. It’s important that the people want the dogs for the right reasons. (“To guard my stuff” is not a good reason.)
Like any government procedure, there is a complex application process. People must have the skills and abilities to handle the dogs, as well financial resources. These are older dogs who have been in battle zones, and many have health issues.
Another major expense is that the adopting family may have to pay up to $2000 for transportation from the war zone back to the U.S. According to the “thinking” of the bureaucracy, once the dog is adopted, he is no longer the property of the military. It would be “fraud, waste, and abuse” for the Department of Defense to transport a pet, according to a spokesperson for the DOD.
And we all know how little of *that* ever happens in government.
This video is a retired military dog with his first encounter with a most mysterious little creature.