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Military Working Dogs: A Selective Research Guide: Selected Bills, Laws, and Regulations

United States Code

Code of Federal Regulations

The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) used to contain United States Air Force Military Working Dog Program (or sentry dog, depending on the year) regulations, beginning in 1965. They were located at 32 CFR 930, et seq. In 1983, these regulations were removed as they were, "intended for internal guidance and has no applicability to the general public." (48 FR 15255). Contact a reference librarian, if you need assistance finding copies of these regulations.

House Resolution 812 (2010)

Public Laws

Attempts to Classify Military Working Dogs as Canine Members of the Armed Forces (2012)

Early Attempts at Laws for Post-war Life of Military Working Dogs

H. R. 543, January 3, 1945 79th Congress, 1st Session

This bill was intended, "To provide for the gift of war dogs to the servicemen who trained them for their war tasks."

This bill proposed to add a subsection to the Surplus Property Act of 1944 to allow war dogs that have been declared as surplus to be donated to the veteran who trained them or, to other veterans.

H.R. 3687, July 5, 1945 "The Blue Cross Animal Relief War Dog Act" 79th Congress, 1st Session

This bill was intended, "To provide for the retraining and care of dogs which have served with the Army during World War II."

This bill proposed a "Commission for the Retraining and Care of War Dogs" to be composed of a commissioned officer of the Army (appointed by the Secretary of War) and two Congressmen (appointed by the President).  This Commission would prepare and carry out plans for the "proper care and treatment" of WWI dogs.  This would include transportation back to the United States and retraining.  The Commission also was permitted to make necessary expenditures to carry out its functions.  A paid employee would hand in reports that would be open to the public.

H.R. 19241, September 17, 1970 91st Congress, 2nd Session

This bill was intended, "To provide for the humane disposition of military dogs."

This bill proposed that when military dogs were no longer needed or suitable for service outside of the United States, and was reasonably healthy, that they should be returned to the United States for retraining for military/law enforcement assignments or housed by a "suitable humane organization."  These humane organizations were not barred from retraining these dogs for civilian life.