US War Dog Association | National Headquarters

Military Dogs Will No Longer Be Considered “Equipment” if Bill Passes

Legislation introduced this week 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.” If it passes, these loyal four-legged heroes who risk their lives for the safety of our troops would at last be officially recognized as the intrepid warriors and lifesavers they  have been for war after war.

“It is time that we as a nation recognize the importance and contributions of Military Working Dogs, and this can be done by elevating their status to Canine Members of the Armed Force,” said Representative Walter B. Jones (R-NC), who introduced the Canine Members of the Armed Forces Act with Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT).  “These dogs are a crucial asset to the US Armed Forces and have saved countless American lives during the past decade of conflict.”


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  1. KUDOS to Representative Walter B. Jones NC and Senator Richard Blumenthal CT. Now these are men I would vote for!!!!! I hope this long overdue bill passes it is so important. HOW do they classify a living creature as equipment!!! These dogs are living breathing creatures of God who are risking all for us.

  2. This is fabulous!! Everyone needs to contact their representatives and senators….email, call…and urge them to please pass this legislation. With the way things are these days in Washington, we can’t assume that any bill will pass.

  3. It is about time that the Military gives these dogs the respect they deserve for faithfully following their handlers into whatever situations they are faced with. They deserve to be discharged from the Military to live out their lives after their tours of duty are complete. I hope that the legislation is passed to allow them to have the full honor they deserve as Canine Members of the Armed Forces.

  4. It should have all ways been “Canine Members of the Armed Forces”. They didn’t have a choice. They served with detection and honor with out question.

    • I am 100 percent for this..It is long overdue..Heres praying it passes.

    • I agree with you 100%.

  5. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

    • I don’t see a link to go vote for this good cause. Like a petition.

  6. YES…. This should have always been the way. So lets fix this NOW and give these members of the military ALL the respect and honor they deserve.

  7. LONGGGG overdue! Military dogs, just like police dogs, are NOT equipment.

  8. What I am wondering is which idiot ever thought to classify them as “Equipment” in the first place? They should have always been honored as the bonifide soldiers that they are with all the respect due them. They have always gone above and beyond their duties.

  9. thank you so very much for passing this bill.

  10. This is a great bill. Everyone needs to call their Representative and Senators in support of the House and Senate versions of the bill. As a veteran myself and someone who works with Congress on animal protection issues, this bill is long overdue. Thanks to the sponsors Cong. Jones and Senator Blumenthal!

    To see if your Senators AND Representative are supporting these bills, visit AWI’s Compassion Index at

  11. You don’t feed your equipment! Your equipment does not have emotions! Your equipment can’t be your friend! your equipment won’t take a bullet for you and cry because you are hurt. They should be enlisted just like we the two leggers!

  12. Amen and God Bless the Government Officials who have had a large efffort in getting this passed! You all have huge hearts and would get my vote for any candidacy you would choose to run for! These Animals truly ARE SOLDIERS and should be TREATED ACCORDINGLY. Thank you and God Bless this campaign and you too! P.S PLEASE SAVE Jjackson and Return Jjackson to his tech/handler and fellow Soldier Harvey Holt who is doing everything in his power and heart to bring his Soldier and best friend home where he belongs. (Before its too late)Thank you Sirs.

  13. Is this going to be re-submitted for approval? It didn’t go through, heard (?) Sen McCane took the verbiage out before President signed papers.

  14. Was added to the much larger Appropriations bill which Pres Obama signed… BUT, most of the language including MWD’s reclassification from “equipment” to Canine Members of the Armed Forces was omitted. In other words, the bill was gutted. Also to my understand, no funds were appropriated for the transportation & medical expenses for MWD’s stateside. So we will have to continue to contact our representatives.
    FYI: The new ranking member of the Senate Armed Forces Committee; Sen. John Inhofe Main: (202) 224-4721 and Chairman; Senator Carl Levin Phone (202) 224-6221. Web:

    • The bill was not gutted. You have if backwards, Everything passed except the reclassification. Transportation, Health care and recognition of service all stayed in the bill and was signed into law. Problem is how long will it take the DOD to implement the new programs.

      • Thank you Ron for the info. From what I was told (by MP who does K9 adoption) that because the “equipment” language remained intact, the other provisions do not necessarily apply. Was a sort of government double speak. Is it your knowledge for sure that the DOD is now funding the return of MWD’s stateside? Again from what I was told, many are at a base in Germany, where civilian adopters would be required to pay for their transport to the US. I was encourage to keep the pressure on the Senate Armed Services Committee. But if you have any other suggestions, please let me know. I would be happy to do whatever it takes to help. 🙂

        • Problem, the only part of the bill that passed and that has been implemented is the Recognition of Military Service for the K9. The other portion have not been put into place, so there is still a problem with the transportation until they get a program setup.

          • ok.. it sounds like maybe you and my contact are are same page?? He blamed the hold on the “Equipment” classification issue (which makes the other parts like transportation, etc useless until it gets fixed) A way to pass a bill without having to enact it. I’ll keep checking back here, please keep us updated if you hear anything?? And again, I’d be happy to write or make calls anytime on behalf of MWD’s

  15. When we were pushing this Bill our number one priority was reclassification of the dogs and then everything else to follow. It was Senator John McCain who screwed it up. It passed 100% in the House but when it got to the Senate, McCain did not want to even bring up this bill. He was against it,. The only was they were able to get it up for a vote was to drop the reclassification. McCain is not the senior ranking member of the committee now, so we should be able to get the reclassification in this year.

  16. Outstanding!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!