It is with great pleasure that we are able to announce that this coming weekend, thanks to the support of our Commonwealth Ambassador Nigel Allsopp and his team at AWAMO (Australian War Animal Memorial Organisation), the New Zealand War Dog Memorial will be opened in the USA at the world’s largest cemetery memorial for military dogs. It will sit alongside a plaque already in place to honour the war dogs of Australia. During the Vietnam War 4,234 “war dogs” were deployed. They had one main mission, to save the lives of men and women in uniform. They did their job well, and it is estimated they saved over 10,000 lives during the conflict.
Nigel, who was himself once a New Zealand military dog handler, tell us: ”As the War was winding down an order came through that all the troops would be pulling out. All the dog handlers ran to the kennels and hugged their battle buddy to let them know they were going home. A few weeks later an order came down from Washington DC to leave the dogs. The handlers couldn’t believe it, however the order stood, sad but true. The problem was the K9’s were classified as equipment and it was customary when the units are being pulled out and excess equipment is not needed anywhere else it was left behind. With the dogs being classified as “equipment” they fell under that rule.”
To honour these well trained K9’s that saved so many lives, the Michigan War Dog Memorial erected a Black Granite Wall ( pictured above) with all their names and tattoo numbers to recognise them for their service and sacrifice, and to ensure they will “Never be Forgotten”.