IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
February 27, 2012
Mr. Blumenthal introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Armed Services
To amend title 10, United States Code, to provide for certain requirements relating to the retirement, adoption, care, and recognition of military working dogs, and for other purposes.
This Act may be cited as the
Canine Members of the Armed Forces
Congress makes the following findings:
Each of the Armed Forces and other Government agencies, including the Secret Service, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the Transportation Security Administration, use military working dogs (MWDs) in service to the country.
Since September 11, 2011, military working dogs have served in Iraq and Afghanistan and have been trained in explosive detection, narcotic detection, sentry, patrol, tracking, and other specific duties.
Military working dogs, through their training, have prevented injuries and saved the lives of thousands of United States citizens.
dogs perform critical and varied roles that go far beyond their current
Retirement and adoption of military working dogs
Retirement and reclassification of military working dogs
Section 2583 of title 10, United States Code, is amended—
by redesignating subsections (f) and (g) as subsections (h) and (i), respectively; and
by inserting after subsection (e) the following new subsections:
Classification of military working dogs
The Secretary of Defense shall classify military working dogs as canine members of the armed forces. Such dogs shall not be classified as equipment.
Transfer of retired military working dogs
If the Secretary of the military department concerned determines that a military working dog should be retired, and no suitable adoption is available at the military facility where the dog is located, the Secretary may transfer the dog—
to the 341st Training Squadron; or
to another location for adoption under this section.
Acceptance of frequent traveler miles
Section 2613(d) of such title is amended—
(1)(B), by striking
; or and inserting a semicolon;
in paragraph (2),
by striking the period at the end and inserting
; or; and
by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
facilitating the adoption of a military working dog under section 2583 of this title.
Veterinary care for retired military working dogs
Chapter 50 of title 10, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new section:
Military working dogs: veterinary care for retired military working dogs
The Secretary of Defense shall establish and maintain a system to provide for the veterinary care of retired military working dogs.
A retired military working dog eligible for veterinary care under this section is any military working dog adopted under section 2583 of this title.
The veterinary care provided a military working dog under this section shall be provided during the life of the dog beginning on the date on which the dog is adopted under such section 2583.
The Secretary shall administer the system required by this section under a contract awarded by the Secretary for that purpose.
The contract under this subsection shall be awarded to a private non-profit entity selected by the Secretary from among such entities submitting an application therefor that have such experience and expertise as the Secretary considers appropriate for purposes of this subsection.
An entity seeking the award of a contract under this subsection shall submit to the Secretary an application therefor in such form, and containing such information, as the Secretary shall require.
The term of any contract under this subsection shall be such duration as the Secretary shall specify.
Standards of care
The veterinary care provided under the system required by this section shall meet such standards as the Secretary shall establish and from time to time update.
The standards required by this subsection shall include the following:
Provisions regarding the types of care to be provided to retired military working dogs.
Provisions regarding the entities (including private veterinarians and entities) qualified to provide the care.
Provisions regarding the facilities, including military installations, government facilities, and private facilities, in which the care may be provided.
A requirement that complete histories be maintained on the health and use in research of retired military working dogs.
Such other matters as the Secretary considers appropriate.
The Secretary shall consult with the board of directors of the non-profit private entity awarded the contract under subsection (c) in establishing and updating standards of care under this subsection.
Coverage of costs
Except as provided in paragraph (2), any costs of operation and administration of the system required by this section, and of any veterinary care provided under the system, shall be covered by such combination of the following as the Secretary and the non-profit entity awarded the contract under subsection (c) jointly consider appropriate:
Contributions from the non-profit entity.
Payments for such care by owners or guardians of the retired military working dogs receiving such care.
Other appropriate non-Federal sources of funds.
Funds provided by the Federal Government—
may not be used—
to provide veterinary care under the system required by this section; or
to pay for the normal operation of the non-profit entity awarded the contract under subsection (c); and
may be used to carry out the duties of the Secretary under subsections (a), (c), (d), and (f).
The Secretary shall prescribe regulations for the discharge of the requirements and authorities in this section, including regulations on the standards of care required by subsection (d).
The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 50 of such title is amended by adding at the end the following new item:
993. Military working dogs: veterinary care for retired military working dogs.
The Secretary of Defense shall prescribe the regulations required by subsection (f) of section 993 of title 10, United States Code (as added by subsection (a) of this section), not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.
Recognition of service of military working dogs
Section 1125 of title 10, United States Code, is amended—
The Secretary of
by adding at the end the following new subsection:
Recognition of service of military working dogs
The Secretary of Defense shall create a decoration or other appropriate recognition to recognize military working dogs under the jurisdiction of the Secretary that are killed in action or perform an exceptionally meritorious or courageous act in service to the United States.