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Lest We Forget : Troops & Military Animals

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Posted on 11-11-2017

by Yasmin Neale 

Remembrance Day is very important for a variety of reasons. Honouring those who have fought for our freedom, honouring those great soldiers who have lost their lives fighting for something many of us may take for granted like our Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Growing up in Canada November 11th has always been acknowledged whether it is a large event at schools across the country or at local venues in small communities.

When discussing war and bravery the military animals often get over looked. However, there are many dogs on the ground whose sole job is to sniff for bombs, mines and other dangers. Some of these animals also lose their lives in order to save ours.  We recognize that Remembrance Day is about honouring those who have fought in the war and as an animal hospital we wanted to also incorporate those military and service animals who sometimes don’t get recognition. Some dog’s sniffing and hearing abilities can often be better than technology and their speed and accuracy is something needed in such situations.

Military animals often take the first steps in order to allow the soldiers to navigate more safely in dangerous situations. Military animals also even have their own awards one, of which is called the Dickin Medal and is presented by the British charity People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA), which is basically the animal equivalent of the Victoria cross medal. This is the highest honour a military animal can receive.

The recipients of this award saves lives, while often risking their own. The award has been presented to horses, dogs, pigeons and even one cat. The most recent cases of these medals being awarded were in 2015 and 2016 both to dogs in the United States of America during their roles in the recent wars. If you would like to learn more about military animals awarded this honour click here.

This Remembrance Day we remain extremely proud of our Canadian troops that continue to protect us. We at Jane Animal Hospital also wanted to say we are proud of the military animals that work alongside these soldiers. Many animals also continue to offer support, stability at home and help soldiers during times where PTSD can become a very hard and dark place to navigate. We want to extend a big thank you and send our support to the organizations that train and connect service dogs to all soldiers that have given so much.


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