Big dog dilemma in Army

Daily Star Sunday - - FRONT PAGE - ■ by CHARLES WADE PALMER

ARMY chiefs say they are strug­gling to find homes for big­ger “hero” dogs at re­tire­ment.

They get fewer peo­ple com­ing for­ward to care for breeds such as Ger­man shep­herds.

Last month we re­vealed the Min­istry of De­fence had a re­think on its pol­icy of putting down dogs that have left the ser­vices.

The Army’s Chief Vet, Colonel Neil Smith, right, promised more of them will be al­lowed to live.

But at the Le­ices­ter­shire bar­racks where ev­ery Army dog and horse is trained and re­ha­bil­i­tated, staff are strug­gling to re­home big­ger breeds.

Col Smith said: “Not many peo­ple want to re­home mid­dle-aged or el­derly Ger­man shep­herds and Mali­nois.

“They’re a lovely dog but they’re not as easy maybe, or as pop­u­lar, as a cock­apoo.”

Dozens of staff at the De­fence An­i­mal Train­ing Reg­i­ment in Mel­ton Mowbray work to get dogs ready for civvy street.

We saw one three-yearold Mali­nois called Hum­mer, right, be­ing put through his paces three weeks into his re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion.

Even though he is now ready to be re­homed, he could be wait­ing a while for a fam­ily.

If you could help to re­home a larger dog, email charles. wade­[email protected] dai­lystar.co.uk.

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