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Tonight on AC360: Bringing military dogs home
Anderson Cooper with Sergeant Price and military working dog Gino.
June 29th, 2012
05:00 PM ET

Tonight on AC360: Bringing military dogs home

In a war zone, the importance of military dogs can't be underestimated. The canines detect explosives to save the lives of troops, and they serve as steadfast companions.

The United States has nearly 3,000 military working dogs, with about 600 overseas serving alongside soldiers. Currently they're classified as "equipment," which can prevent them from returning home with those they protect.

If a dog retires on a base abroad, considered "excess equipment," they're not entitled to fly back home. And the shipping costs are expensive, possibly thousands of dollars.

A bill that was passed in the House and awaiting a vote in the Senate would change the classification and policy. Supporters of the legislation believe the dogs deserve care at home for their contributions to the country.

Anderson spoke with Staff Sergeant Price and met Gino, a 7-year-old German Shepherd who is being adopted after years of service. Gino is an explosives patrol dog who helped with convoys, roadway searches and other risky missions in Afghanistan. "He's a friend, a family member, and definitely someone to watch my back," said Price.

Watch the interview tonight at 8 and 10 p.m. ET, and find out more about the Canine Members of the Armed Forces Act from CNN's Chris Lawrence.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Military
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Gloria erikson

    These dogs are partners of the men in the Military, (soldiers) why can't they be called " K-9 soldiers" too, and receive the same care and trips home! There must be room on board flights home! MAKE ROOM for them!,

    July 2, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
  2. Lee

    This should be a no brainer, and a huge 'for shame!" of the head to the government and the military for this pathetic behavior. I think politicians should be treated as excess too, and shipped overseas in a 1-on-1 trade for the animals that actually have value and redeeming qualities.

    June 30, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
  3. petergay

    Thanks to Anderson and Chris Lawrence for reporting on this archaic law regarding the canine soldiers who retire and are left behind. I applaud Rep. Walter Jones for introducing the bill to correct this inhumane act and help bring ALL dogs back to the U.S.A.

    June 30, 2012 at 10:33 am |
  4. Linda Stevens

    These dogs would give their lives in a instant for their buddies. You mean to tell me we can't provide for these wonder and brave animals?Sure we can, it won't cost that much and we owe them!

    June 29, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
  5. Jonathan Amabisca

    we can all agree this is the right thing to do.....please?

    June 29, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
  6. devans

    I guess everyone knows where my heart stands here.

    June 29, 2012 at 8:06 pm |