In an effort to improve the quality of life for dogs after they have served in our nation's armed forces, U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) today introduced legislation that would make it easier for people to adopt military dogs, and would improve the quality of care the dogs receive after they complete their service.
"My dog Kirby was a loyal and protective member of my family, and dogs that have served in the armed forces share these same great qualities," said Sen. Franken. "This legislation will make it easier for families in Minnesota to adopt these great dogs and make sure they get the care and love they deserve."
The Canine Members of the Armed Forces Act designates military working dogs as members of the armed forces instead of as equipment, as they are currently designated. The bill also makes it easier for people to adopt the dogs by allowing airline customers to donate frequent flyer miles to bring dogs home from service. It also directs the Secretary of Defense to operate a veterinary care system through a non-profit entity, which would be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the system. No federal funds would be used to operate the system.
Sen. Franken cosponsored the Canine Members of the Armed Forces Act along with 15 of his Senate colleagues. In December, a companion bill was passed by the House of Representatives as part of the National Defense Authorization Act.