Known as canine soldiers, dogs have always been an integral part of any military unit. They are serving in almost all the armies around the world. The Indian Army started inducting them in 1959 and since then these fierce and loyal soldiers have proved their mettle time and again. Indian Army dogs have won numerous awards for showing extreme valor and at times for saving the lives of our soldiers.
The dogs serving in the Indian Army are highly trained for doing a variety of tasks. They help the troops in counter-insurgency operations and detect bombs and IEDs when they are a part of infantry patrol units. They are also used for guarding the strategic locations where the possibility of enemy attack is maximum.
But did you know that the Indian Army dogs are made to retire from service after certain years or when they become unfit for duty and they are put to death by giving them euthanasia?
The army takes this step mainly because of security reasons. This practice is being carried out mainly because if the retired dog comes in the hands of a terrorist or enemy, the security of the nation would be compromised as they have the knowledge of all the strategic and highly confidential places, especially along the borders, from where the army operates. They can easily memorize the path because of their intelligence. This is the reason that after 8-9 years of service, the Indian Army dogs are made to retire from active service and are put to death after their retirement.
The other reason is that the army has found out that the organizations and NGOs that were given the funds to take care of the retired dogs were not doing their job properly.
The dogs were often found in terrible conditions during their routine check-ups. The army did not want to see such plight of its canine soldiers. So the ones which were found to be suffering from any kind of disease were given an honorable and least painful death instead.
However, the practice of giving euthanasia to the retired dogs has now stopped after the government intervened on the request of animal rights groups.
Now the army takes care of its retired dogs by itself. The Indian Army has come up with an old age home at its RVC Centre in Meerut where all the retired dogs are kept and properly taken care of. These highly-trained dogs can also be adopted now after going through a screening process. Once chosen, a proper documentation of the person is being carried out before handing over the dogs to him/her, for security purpose.
The canine soldiers are often the first to detect any kind of danger and respond to it. They have prevented hundreds of attacks in our country. This is the reason they are being highly regarded in the Indian Army. We must not forget their contribution to the safety of our nation.