For those of you who don’t know, it’s “Take Your Dog to Work” day. As fun as it would be to post endless pictures of bewildered dogs in goofy suits and glasses, we thought it would be a nice time to pay tribute to the dogs that are actually hard at work, saving and enriching the lives of humans and other animals, day after day. These are more like dogs who bring their humans to work.
Hard Working Dogs with Jobs
Police Dogs are probably the service dog that the public is most familiar with. What you may not know are all the roles these dogs take on as K9 officers- they don’t just chase down assailants like on the show Cops after all.
Of course one of a dog’s best assets is his nose, containing about 200 million scent receptor cells. You and I have a measly 5 million. (Remember that the next time you try to kiss your poor dog with your morning breath)!
Their incredible gift of scent allows them to search buildings for criminals, drugs, and explosives that would have human law enforcement officers ransacking a place for a long time. This is a crucial task when we are talking potential explosives that may be set to detonate at any given time.
Having a dog by the officers side is an additional protective measure. Humans cannot match the strength or speed of a well trained dog on the hunt. The dog may be able to catch a fleeting suspect and apprehend him before the officer is able to reach them. Officers say that just the presence of the dog alone will often dissuade suspects from becoming confrontational.
Did you know…. European police forces used Bloodhounds as K9 officers as early as the 18th century? Starting around the time of WWI, Germany and Belgium began formalizing training programs for these dogs. The widespread use of police dogs in the US started in the 1970s.
John 15:13- “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
And on May 14th 1998, Aron did just that. K9 officer Aron and handler Terry Burnett were in the neighborhood when a call came in about a robbery at a local Nashville bank. When they arrived on scene the suspect had already exited the bank and a confrontation took place. The assailant was armed and went for his gun just as Aron attempted to apprehend him. The robber fired several shots, hitting Officer Burnett in the foot. Aron then positioned himself in front of Burnett, at which point he was hit in the neck and the chest. Even after being stuck and unable to use his front legs, he inched himself closer to Burnett in an effort to protect him. Officers rushed Aron to the veterinary hospital, but they were unable to save him. A SWAT team surrounded the robber where he eventually died after a shootout.
These dogs are partners. They are trained to have the officers back, and they will lay down their life if need be. Which is why the police force has continued to push for stiffer sentences for those who endanger or harm the K9s. Nearly 17 years after Aron died protecting his handler, HB 1291/SB 1114 aka Aron’s Law was signed. The law makes in a Class E Felony to knowingly kill a police, fire, or search and rescue dog.
It’s not enough, but it’s a good start.
Search and Rescue Dogs
You know how your dog is always there for you on your worst of days no matter what? Well imagine your worst of days included being in building when it collapsed and being trapped under rubble, getting caught in an avalanche, or being in an earthquake…. The situations search and rescue dogs are utilized in are endless.
They have recovered children lost in the woods, elderly patients with dementia who have wandered off, and people caught in the middle of major disasters. They have saved countless lives, and when it’s too late, they have recovered remains in order to allow families to say their goodbyes. These creatures never cease to amaze me.
Here are some of the different types of search and rescue dogs.
Did you know…. Search and rescue dogs can be trained to detect people buried in snow as deep as 15 feet?
Just some of the ways search and rescue dogs have been used
Did you know…. that the Navy SEALS used a dog named Cairo in mission Neptune Spear in which Bin Laden was killed?
“Shoulder-mounted cameras with heat-seeking and low-light capabilities ensure dogs like Cairo can beam images to their handlers from places even the Seals dare not go.
Sophisticated hardware fitted to the dog can relay its handler’s commands even through fortified concrete walls, while picking up the whispers of the enemy.
Yet it is the dogs’ natural attributes that make them such formidable foes. Their noses can not only sniff out booby traps but detect hidden enemies in total darkness in the kind of reinforced compound where Bin Laden avoided the CIA for almost a decade.” –Stuart Winter
Incredible right? They operate in the most delicate, dangerous of situations and do it side by side with our men and women in uniform. They bring down fugitives, scout out dangerous areas, and use their keen intuition to sense looming danger.
The US military currently has about 2800 active duty dogs deployed around the world.
Check out these K9 tactical suits-
It would blow your mind how highly skilled these dogs are. Certain special-ops dogs are even trained parachutists who will deploy with their handler, or even by themselves if the mission calls for it.
They are fearless.
Enjoy these pictures, courtesy of EuroPasiceWolf.
I hope reading about everything these dogs and their handlers do to keep us safe has touched you and has made you proud.
Please consider making a financial donation or putting together a care package for them. Here is a list of organizations who support these K9 teams, and the supplies they have requested specifically.
Thank you US War Dogs for everything you do to support our four legged heroes.
The capacity in which service dogs are used is so vast, ranging from seeing eye dogs for the blind, dogs trained to predict seizures and keep epileptic individuals from harm, support animals for those with PTSD and so on.
These dogs help their owners perform difficult tasks they may not otherwise be able to, and provide them with a reassurance so that they feel confident being out in public and living their lives to the fullest extent possible.
To read more about some of the amazing service dogs out there, check out Paws with a cause.
This “take your dog to work day” we hope you enjoy having your partner in crime by your side. They truly are man’s best friend.
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