Animals in America’s Military History

Posted On: 07-03-2012

As we near the Fourth of July, we at America’s Family Pet Expo thought we would take a look at some of the ways that animals have helped maintain our nation’s independence.

Did you know that cats have been a part of the naval service, specifically during the 1st and 2nd World Wars?  Cats not only provide companionship, but have also been essential to keeping rats and mice from overrunning a ship and eating provisions, chewing through ropes, and spreading disease.

Dogs also play a part in the military.  If you attended America’s Family Pet Expo and saw the Police Dog Demonstrations, you understand the amazing abilities that dogs have and the ways these abilities can be put to use.  But before World War II, dogs weren’t really used by the US Military. However, after the Pearl Harbor bombing, a group of professional breeders established “Dogs for Defense”.  This group, with the help from the American Kennel club, procured and trained dogs for military use.  They trained dogs to become messenger, sledge and scout dogs.  The Army eventually took over the program, and the use of dogs in the military expanded.  There are now a variety uses for dogs in the military, including attack dogs, drug-sniffing dogs, bomb detection dogs, and more.  For more information on the history of dogs in the military, visit http://www.uswardogs.org/.

Let’s not forget birds!  Pigeons were used in World War I to deliver messages and were a lifeline for the troops on the front line in a time before radio and modern day communication.  Homing pigeons were used during World War II for carry messages, maps, photographs and cameras.  The pigeons were used on D-Day to send information about German positions and report battle status as troops operated under radio silence.

Finally, the U.S Navy has created a program called the Navy Marine Mammal program that uses the abilities of marine animals to aid in various jobs.  The sonar of dolphins is used to located sea mines.  Sea lions mark and retrieve objects in the ocean.

This is but a small glimpse at the ways the abilities of animals have helped in preserving our Country’s freedom!  The abilities of animals are truly amazing!