TEDD Group Fights for Canine Military Heroes Considered ‘Obsolete Equipment’
The United States Military buys and utilizes trained service dogs for patrol and bomb detection, and by law is obligated to offer service dogs to their military handlers. But that’s not happening, and American Heroes are missing their life-saving dogs.
In November of 2000, then President Bill Clinton signed into law a measure called Robby’s Law, which was named after a heroic service dog who was euthanized after his service, instead of retiring to a family who desperately wanted him. Robby’s handler had ferociously fought to adopt Robby and save him from euthanasia, and though he couldn’t save Robby, his efforts paved the way for countless other service dogs who followed in his footsteps to be adopted out, if at all possible, rather than be abandoned or euthanized. Officially, under the act, they are considered ‘obsolete equipment.’
After several scandals involving military service dogs being adopted out, but not to the service handlers who worked with them and fought side by side with them in war-torn regions, Robby’s law was amended to prioritize the list of who is eligible to adopt these brave canine heroes. In November 2015, the law’s revisions mandated that handlers receive first priority to adopt their military dogs.
Army Specialist Brad Perry was one such handler who was promised he’d be able to adopt his bomb-detecting dog, Bodi. Called a TEDD, which stands for Tactical Explosives Detector Dog, Bodi was intended for Spec. Perry upon his completion of his tour in the middle east. Perry credits Bodi for not only saving his life, but the lives of many others, and wanted to return the favor for Bodi after his war duty.
Before Perry even agreed to have a TEDD, he was promised that he would have the chance to adopt Bodi when they returned to the States. After braving 11 months in Afghanistan together, Perry looked forward to relaxing at home with Bodi on friendly ground.
But it wasn’t to be.
Perry never saw Bodi again, and this is apparently the norm for so many military heroes and their canine counterparts. It seems that once many of these service members find themselves back on US soil, they are separated from their canine service dog forever.
Specialist Perry, and others like him, have turned to US Representative Richard Hudson, who has vowed to get to the bottom of where the service dogs have gone, and why their handlers were not given first rights to adopt when they returned from their tours. There is even a Facebook Group, Justice For Tedd Handlers, that works tirelessly to reunite service members and their dogs…but often the dogs have been adopted out and families will not even return the calls of the service members. The service men and women not only suffer the trauma from war, but of the loss of their beloved friends and furry comrades. Representative Hudson has gotten the Department of Defense involved as well, and is still working on ensuring Robby’s law is held to the highest mandates.
In the meantime? Specialist Perry hasn’t seen Bodi since 2011. He recently was able to contact the daughter of the man who adopted his beloved Bodi, but the man himself won’t return his calls. Seems Bodi has stolen more than Spec. Perry’s heart too.
[Source: WSOCTV/News 9 ]