Ministry of Defence has put down 288 military dogs over three years
Following on from our news story about two guard dogs that were put down that helped protect the RAF base where Prince William was working; further details have emerged of the wide extent of working dog deaths within the armed forces.
The number was revealed by The Sun after 288 dogs were put down by the MoD from January 2010 to June of this year.
Among those that were destroyed, 81 were killed because of age, 61 because of osteoarthritis and 33 because of dangerous temperament.
A spokesperson for the MoD said that Our animals play an invaluable role on military operations in Afghanistan and elsewhere and are much loved by the troops.
“Most animals are re-homed. Regrettably, due to the challenging nature of their work, some of our dogs get injured or contract illnesses and need to be put down. These decisions are taken only as a last resort following veterinary advice.”
In another statement from the MoD they said that "Our policy on military working dogs is clear - we make every effort to re-home all military working dogs at the end of their service life and hundreds have gone to those closely associated with the animal while it was serving, or to others within the military community.
"Regrettably, due to the nature of their work some dogs can develop veterinary problems and it would be inappropriate and inhumane to re-home them. Putting a dog down is only ever taken as a last resort.
"The vast majority of dogs put down over the past three years was based on a veterinary diagnosis which concluded that the animal's condition impeded their quality of life.
"In certain circumstances, the veterinarian judges that it is unsafe to re-home the animal because of the risk they pose to the public or where re-homing them would conflict with the animal's welfare."