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Military hero dogs on the black market!?
Posted on : 02/23/2016 04:12:15 PM

Ben, a retired veteran dog sold on the black market, one of very few who has since been reunited with his handler 
(photo credit: NY Post)

An infuriating expose recently ran in the NY Post, “Troops betrayed as Army dumps hundreds of heroic war dogs.” In an intricately detailed investigation, the author, Maureen Callahan, interviewed dozens of retired and active duty military dog handlers about the gross activities by contractors in a massive scam of veteran dogs for cash. And it continues with the implicit consent of the military that has taken no action to correct this wrong, and in some cases has even been physically present overseeing it!
Daniel with his now missing military veteran dog, Oogie
(photo credit: NY Post)

Illegally Selling Retired Hero Dogs to Individuals and Foreign Governments?
Instead of returning the dogs to their retired handlers, many of whom suffer from PTSD and physical injuries, military contractors such as K2 Solutions are instead linked to selling the dogs to foreign regimes such as Panama where the dogs are purchased for tens of thousands of dollars or individuals here in the States with plenty of cash on hand. These dogs, riddled with injuries and even shrapnel inside their bodies, are in some cases shipped off in trucks by the dozen, emaciated and frightened. And this is after serving several tours of duty and saving the lives of countless US service men and women. 

Their rightful owners, recently retired military handlers, have a hard-fought legal right to adopt their dogs before anyone else. Under Robby’s Law, named after a veteran hero dog, no one regardless of how much money they have can purchase these dogs before them. 

The investigation by the NY Post however has discovered that “hundreds” of dogs have met this fate. And their handlers (in many cases suffering from debilitating injuries) are unable to do anything about it. According to the Post, even the CEO of K2 has indulged and taken a military veteran dog for himself. 

“The handlers, understandably, trust no one.”
Army veteran Ryan Henderson with his now missing military working dog, Satan 
(photo credit: NY Post)

The NY Post has also uncovered that the US military itself is complicit and maybe even actively involved in a cover-up. “At least one staffer from the OPMG [the Army’s Office of the Provost Marshall General] was at K2’s adoption event on Feb. 10” where battle-scarred veteran dogs were illegally being sold. None of the adopters were vetted, none were asked what they planned to do with the dogs or if they had suitable homes - only if they had money to make the purchase! According to the NY Post, Robert Squires, a staffer at the Army’s OPMG, was at this very K2 adoption event managing it. Moreover, Sgt Tia Jordan of the Military Working Dogs Adoptions and Dispositions Center at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas has given retired handlers no help when they email or call looking to adopt their retired dogs. 

Neither the military contractors nor the military itself is following Robby’s Law, instead blatantly violating federal law and the trust of our hero veterans (both human and canine). 

What can be done?
K2 CEO, Lane Kjellsen 
(photo credit: NY Post)
With Robby’s Law disregarded, and hundreds of retired veterans unable to gain the cooperation of both K2 Solutions and the military they and their dogs faithfully served, what now can they do? This problem ultimately goes all the way to the top of K2 where CEO Lane Kjellsen has the sacred responsibility of reuniting our veteran men and women with their dogs. Does he really want to see American veteran dogs sold and shipped on the black market with no idea of the conditions they will meet? And the ultimate responsibility for all-things military rests with President Obama. Will he take any action on this violation of federal law that affects the lives of hundreds of veterans and their families? 

If you are one such veteran or a friend or family member of one, please consider meeting with an attorney to discuss your legal options. This sounds like a potential class-action lawsuit with hundreds of plaintiffs wrongfully taken advantage of, not to mention their hero dogs who have been illegally scattered around the world in complete violation of Robby’s Law. The looming threat of a lawsuit can turn any wrong-doer, no matter how invincible they may feel, to think twice about their actions. 

And if you come across the opportunity to adopt a hero veteran dog, please be sure that their handler has indeed been contacted first. You may need to confirm this on your own as contractors have been seen to outright fabricate this information incorrectly in order to secure a purchase. Our retired military working dogs deserve a loving home, but that honor first and foremost belongs to their hero handlers.

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