Honoring the bonds forged in battle

It wasn’t until HR 5314, “Robby’s Law,” was signed into law by President Clinton in 2000 that military working dogs could be adopted at the conclusion of their service. Before the law was passed, all MWDs, as they are designated in military nomenclature, were killed as a matter of policy when their useful service ended due to age, injury or illness. They were just disposed of like an old ripped uniform, or a busted humvee.

Robby’s Law was good news for dogs and dog lovers because it ended the incomprehensible injustice of killing dogs following a life of service — even when their military handlers wanted to adopt them.

An amendment is now making its way through Congress as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2016. The amendment gives adoption priority to each dog’s military handler, who will be contacted when the dog is available.

North Carolina Rep. Richard Hudson championed the amendment, along with New Jersey Rep. Frank Lo Biondo.

A statement on Rep. Hudson’s website reads:


“This problem came to my attention last year when I helped reunite Spc. Brent Grommet and his military working dog Matty who were separated after being wounded overseas. I was fortunate to meet Brent and Matty, and it was clear to me that our war dogs save lives not only on the battlefield, but also here at home.

“The simple fact is, we shouldn’t make our war heroes jump through hoops to adopt their combat companions. This amendment is the solution to make it easier to reunite our service members and their trusted dogs and help honor their special bond.”

Good for you, Congressman Hudson. All of us here at Best Friends agree. The appropriations bill has made it through the House of Representatives, but it soon will come up for a Senate vote. The portion containing the amendment is section 594, and we’ve made it easy, via a sample letter, for everyone to contact their senators and ask them to support this common-sense and non-controversial provision.

Please take action on this issue right now.

We would appreciate it if you could contact your senators today and make a statement on behalf of our veterans — both human and canine.