top of page
Robby's Law

Robby's Law changed it all. Even though military dogs are credited with saving 10,000 lives in the Vietnam war, they were euthanized or abandoned when they became disabled or too old for the rigors of war. ... That all changed when Congress passed Robby's Law in 2000

"Robby's Law" (10 U.S.C. 2583 ) requires the Secretary of Defense to submit a report to Congress each year on the "disposition" of Military Working Dogs (MWD's) -- the numbers adopted, transferred to law enforcement, euthanized, or disposed of by other means.

Thanks to the help of Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky's wonderful staff we now have a copies of the "Robby's Law" report to Congress. showing the numbers of military working dogs adopted, transferred, and euthanized during that year.

A total of 122 dogs were euthanized in 2007, compared with 360 dogs adopted or transferred to law enforcement agencies. The report attempts to distinguish between dogs euthanized for "humane" reasons (78) and those put down for reasons of "aggressive" temperament making them unsuitable for adoption (44). However, our experience suggests that the line between the two may not always be all that clear cut.

Military Working Dog Adoption
MWD's no longer classified as equipment

On June 1, 2015 a new law was passed deeming Military Working Dogs no longer equipment. This law was petitioned and passed through with the support of:


  • Representative Walter B Jones (R-NC)

    • Representative Jones' office has been contacted on this issue and they are looking into it. We will keep you up to date on any changes in the bill. Please do not contact them directly as they are doing their best to look into this​ situation.

  • Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)

  • US War Dog Association

Full copy of the publication can be viewed here

1 Step forward, 10 steps backwards. Under the new law MWD's are no longer cared for as they were under the once popular Robby Law. 

Under section 2.11 of the new bill: Euthanasia. On the authority of the Accountable Unit Commander (AUC) or designated representative, MWDs may be euthanized after consultation with the attending military veterinarian. With the exception of medical conditions that warrant emergent euthanasia, attending military veterinarians must consult with military specialists at the DoD MWD Veterinary Service (DoD MWD VS), JBSA-Lackland, TX. When an MWD is experiencing undue suffering with a poor prognosis for return to duty, the attending veterinarian is authorized to euthanize the MWD without prior consultation with DoD MWD VS personnel. Euthanasia must be in accordance with acceptable standards as outlined in the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Council on Euthanasia. Anytime a MWD is euthanized, the attending veterinarian must complete and submit a DD Form 1743, listing the reason for euthanasia, to the DoD MWD VS and provide a copy of this form to the unit commander to allow requisition of a replacement MWD. (T-0).

2.11.1. An MWD may be euthanized under the following circumstances: AFI31-126 1 JUNE 2015 13 To terminate suffering caused by disease, injury or permanent physical disability.

  • To prevent the spread of contagious disease.

  • When unable to perform as the result of an incurable disease or physical disability.

  • When behavioral disorders are diagnosed that are not responsive to humane training therapy designed to return the MWD to normal use.

  • 2.11.2. When other conditions exist which may warrant euthanasia, such as viciousness or behavioral instability, the unit and the attending veterinarian must consult with the DoD MWD VS before euthanasia is authorized. If MWD is in a deployed location, remains may be hand-carried or shipped by United States Postal Service (USPS). Ensure they are in a non-metal, sift-proof container such as double bagged and in a cardboard box. If shipped, need to identify on the customs label as cremated remains.

Under section 2.8 Reporting of Worlwide Assets: the Working Dog Management System (WDMS) MWD's euthanization records are now considered classified and no longer available to the public. This means we have no idea how many canines are being euthanized or why. 

If you feel this to be an in-justice, we encourage you to reach your to your congressional members and petition to have this new law repealed and the initial Robby Law reinstated. These veterans deserve better. 

bottom of page