- The Washington Times - Friday, November 15, 2019

A group of Republican House lawmakers has introduced legislation to provide grants for retired military and government working dogs to cover medical costs and care they may need after years of service.

The bill, dubbed the “K-9 Hero Act,” was announced in the wake of the death of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi who was chased down by Conan, a Belgian Malinois who accompanied U.S. Special Operations forces during a daring raid last month.

Conan suffered minor injuries in the operation when al-Baghdadi detonated a suicide vest inside a tunnel beneath his compound and has since undergone treatment.

“During the successful special forces mission that resulted in the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, we witnessed firsthand what an asset our federal working dogs can be,” said Rep. Ron Wright, who sponsored the bill.

“Once these heroes retire from service, the medical treatment they need is often significant enough to create a financial hardship for the individuals who care for them. It is unacceptable for these heroes to be euthanized or to go without necessary medical treatment during their retirement,” the Texas Republican said in a statement.

Working dogs serve in almost every branch of the federal government including the Department of Defense, the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, TSA, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

The bill has been endorsed Project K-9 Hero, American Humane, and Mission K9 Rescue, the press release stated.

• Lauren Toms can be reached at lmeier@washingtontimes.com.

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