Celebrate National K9 Veterans Day

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Photo credit CNN

(March 13, 2016) – Today, March 13, is National K9 Veterans Day.

Dogs were used mostly as mascots up until World War II.

In 1942, the American Kennel Club helped create “Dogs for Defense.” It was a civilian group that trained dogs as sentries to patrol US coastlines.

It was on this date 74 years ago the US Army approved the experimental program and created the K9 Corps.

National K9 Veterans Day is intended to honor military dogs as well as those working with police, customs, border patrol, service, therapy and other working dogs whose mission it is to protect and serve the homeland and people within it.

A few military dog facts:

  • The K9 Corps initially trained 32 breeds.
  • By 1944, it dropped to seven.
  • The army used about 1,500 dogs during the Korean War and 4,000 in Vietnam.
  • Military dogs are traditionally non-commissioned officers – one rank higher than their handler.
  • Some say this custom is meant to prevent handlers from mistreating their canines

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