I was going through the news like I do every day with a cuppa’ tea. There is always a story about dogs, the majority bad, especially recently.
However one story made me look twice and it was one you don’t often hear about in the news so I thought I’d share it with you. To summarise, two RAF service dogs have been put down due to behavioural issues (despite the fact that most articles concentrated on Prince William’s leaving the same RAF base).
Taken from the Telegraph –
Bruce, a Belgian Shepherd, and Blade, a German Shepherd, were reportedly euthanised after the Duke completed his final shift as a search and rescue pilot at RAF Valley on Anglesey.
The Ministry of Defence confirmed the dogs had been put down, but described the timing as “a coincidence”.
A spokesman said: “It is true two dogs have been put down, a couple of days after (the Duke left RAF Valley earlier this month).
“It was entirely coincidental.”
Ignoring the gratuitous shoehorning in of the dogs to justify an article on the Prince, it is a sober reminder that the unique training of dogs in the military and Police often leaves them with behavioural issues upon retiring which make them unsuitable for re-homing.
It was only two days ago I interviewed Duncan Matthews, Honorary Secretary who recently established ‘Fireside K9’ charity to help and assist retired service dogs with the West Yorkshire Police. (Interview here)
From what I understand, they were not his own working dogs, they were just kept in the same facilities as he was kept in during his line of service.
“These dogs had played an invaluable role offering security to our personnel over many years and were much loved by their handlers who had an extremely strong bond with them.
“Sadly these dogs had a record of veterinary and behavioural issues which meant that they could not be reassigned to other duties and they were too aggressive to be kept at home.”
It was quite a coincidence that this came out straight after that interview and, if anything, that story alone really cemented just how important those issues Duncan Matthews mentioned. Sadly it is not in every case the dog can retire to their handlers and we must be aware of that and ensure they are well looked after when the time comes. They could potentially have many years left of retirement and those should be spent in safety, relaxed and in harmony.
So, in light of this news what do you think? Has anybody know or even better rehomed a retired service dog? I would love to hear from you so get in on the conversation!