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It’s no secret that dogs are man’s best friend. To that end dogs have served faithfully alongside their human companions in the fields, on the farms and in wartime. They have served in ways that deserve our utmost respect. They stand strong next to their human brothers in arms in some of the worst possible situations. Our American service dogs are heroes of the highest order and deserved to be recognized as such. Here are nine facts about military service dogs that will garner your respect.

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9 Historical Facts About Military Service Dogs

  1. Since The Beginning: Ever since there have been armies, there have been dogs serving alongside their human counterparts. They have been utilized in military operations dating back over 3000 years.
  2. Officially Acknowledged: Although dogs have served faithfully and seen combat in every single American conflict, they were not officially recognized until WWI.
  3. Don’t Shoot The Messenger: A dog’s primary job during the first few American conflicts was to relay messages between military units.
  4. They Are Life Savers: The United States War Dogs Association estimates that dogs have saved over 10,000 lives since the beginning of their service in WWI.
  5. WWI: The most decorated war dog in history, Sgt. Stubby, saved an entire company from a Serin Gas attack. He also met three different United States Presidents.
  6. WWII: A German Shepard single handedly forced a machine gun crew to surrender. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, a Silver Star and a Purple Heart. All of these awards were later rescinded due to Army regulations.
  7. Rin-Tin-Tin: By far the most famous WWII dog. He was an abandoned German war dog that was adopted by American troops and brought back to the U.S.  The rest is T.V. history.
  8. Vietnam Conflict: A war dog named Duke alerted his company to an impending ambush. He is credited with saving over a hundred lives with that one action.
  9. Special Animals: Highly trained service dogs also serve alongside Special Forces units. The Navy Seals brought a K-9 unit along with them on the Osama Bin Laden raid. By the time these animals graduate their training the military has invested up to $8,000 in their training.

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As the men and women of our Armed Forces go away on deployment they often leave their beloved dogs behind to hold down the fort while they are out protecting our freedom. Purina Pure Love for Pets in partnership with Dogs On Deployment is working to raise awareness for the need to foster and care for the animals while their family members are away. You can help by visiting Purina Pure Love For Pets and participating in a trivia game. For each correct answer Purina will donate $.25 up to $40,000 to Dogs On Deployment, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping our service members enjoy life long pet ownership.

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