A new report claims that military dogs are being put down when they are no longer fit for service before they are even given the chance to become pets.
According to Freedom of Information figures, 41 dogs were euthanised this year when they were no longer deemed able to perform in the roles they had been trained for.
Many of those had developed illnesses and chronic conditions but there were a number who had been judged suitable for rehoming as pets.
Much like the service men and women they accompany, Military Working Dogs are often exposed to traumatic events in war zones where they are tasked with dangerous jobs like finding and clearing explosives.
But the FOI figures showed that in 2017, homes were found for 121 dogs who had come out of active service.Council comes up with genius way to try and stop putting up fly posters
Dog behaviourist Debbie Connolly, founder of SafePets UK, told The Mirror she believed some animals that have been put down in 2018 could have been spared.
‘Occasionally I get them and put them through rehab,’ she said.
‘The problem is that the MoD don’t seem to be keen on working with anyone else. It’s just them deciding.
‘I’m not pretending this is a fluffy bunny business where every dog can be rehabilitated. But they should be given the chance.’
The Ministry of Defence defended the number and said that the hundreds of forces animals that come out of service are rehomed when they can be but sometimes it is inappropriate to do so.
The MoD said: ‘Every effort is made to rehome animals but at times it is not possible, for example when they pose a risk.
‘Decisions are made following a full assessment by military veterinarians and dog behaviourist experts.’
Two military dogs who helped save thousands of lives were put down last year after they were found to be ‘unsafe’ to be rehomed.
The dogs, Kevin and Dazz, worked with troops to locate explosives in Afghanistan.