National K9 Veteran Day: Honoring dogs of military, law enforcement

K-9 Bloodhounds of the GPD

March 13 is National Nap Day, National Jewel Day, Earmuff Day, Good Samaritan Day and Open an Umbrella Day, according to the National Days calendar.

All that said, it's also a day that is worth observing--National K9 Veteran Day.

WHY MARCH 13? National K9 Veterans Day is celebrated on March 13th on the official birthday of the US Army K9 Corps, which was formed in 1942.  Joseph White, a retired military working dog trainer, originated the idea for the day.

According to National Days, Dogs were called to duty during the first world war (WWI). The United States took notice of the European use of canines as sentries, message carriers and several other functions.

Dogs for Defense was a program initiated by a private citizen by the name of Mrs. Alene Erlanger. Along with the American Kennel Club and a handful of breeders, the group aimed to train the dogs for military use.

By November of 1942, the first Dogs for Defense were prepared for duty in North Africa. While at first they were gun shy, they proved to be well trained.

As the war progressed, Dogs for Defense was unable to keep up with the demand and the Remount Branch, Service Installations Divisions took over training of the dogs.

Over the years the military, police and rescue have developed a variety of training methods for K9 units. Their training is tailored to meet the demands of the job and each animal and handler carries out his or her duties to the fullest.

HOW TO OBSERVE: Use #NationalK9VeteransDay when you post or share on social media. Call your police or sheriff's department and see if you can give or donate something to help their K9 Unit.

Copyright 2017 WFMY


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