Per­sons, not prop­erty

Animal Scene - - SCENE ZONE -

For many coun­tries, an­i­mals -- even com­pan­ion an­i­mals like dogs -- were con­sid­ered prop­erty. While move­ments around the world are push­ing to have the “per­son­hood” of an­i­mals rec­og­nized by the government, much has to be done be­fore real progress is made.

Sadly, this means that even the process of turn­ing over MWDS to the Hound Haven can be rather gru­el­ing.

Be­cause mil­i­tary dogs are con­sid­ered “equip­ment,” the Com­mis­sion on Au­dit needs to ap­prove their re­moval from the ros­ter and, in ef­fect, can­cel the bud­get al­lot­ment. Only af­ter this is ac­com­plished can the dogs be re­tired from ser­vice and trans­ferred to the sanc­tu­ary.

“For an MWD to be turned over to Hound Haven, the ken­nel mas­ter, eval­u­a­tor, and vet­eri­nar­ian must first do a med­i­cal eval­u­a­tion. The form is then signed by the unit vet­eri­nar­ian,” said Maj. Lawrence San Juan, Philip­pine Army K-9 Batal­lion’s com­mand­ing of­fi­cer.

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