Protective gear is an important element for military members in combat areas, even the four-legged ones, and these furry soldiers in Ukraine will be receiving some much needed protective gear from the United States.
According to CNN, the Ukrainian Ministry of Interior said that U.S. police dog trainers are providing canine body armor for some of the Ukrainian dogs who work with police officers, combat engineers, and border guards. And, we can’t stress this enough, it’s vital.
While dogs have historically been part of the Ukrainian military, this “branch” of canine forces is unique. The war of 2022 in Ukraine has found massive pet displacement, both from civilians who have been separated from their pets, and dogs abandoned by Russian forces themselves. A notable example is “Max”, a Belgian shepherd that belonged to a unit of the Russian National Guard that had captured one of the villages in Mykolayiv Oblast. After being found by a villager in the Ukrainian-liberated region, Max was folded into the Ukrainian National Guard who stated (jokingly) they are in the process of “denazifying” the Shepard..
When the war in Ukraine began in February 2022, among the news of political unrest and civilians under duress in their home cities were stories of hope inspired by a surprising source. From “Rambo”, the viral puppy adopted by Ukrainian military forces to “Patron” sniffing out Russian explosives on TikTok, the “dogs of war” are literal in Ukraine and a welcome glimmer of happiness for the world watching and those in the thick of country-wide battles.
Why Combat Vests For Dogs?
Canines have been a crucial part of militaries around the world for decades. One of the most common breeds in the military is the German Shepard but smaller dogs, like Patron the Jack Russell Terrier, are becoming more frequent as their size allows them to fit into smaller and tighter areas than their bigger counterparts.
Military dogs spend their careers in the thick of danger from bomb detection to search and rescue for missing humans through debris and collapsed buildings. And it’s the physical differences between these working dogs, and the variety of elements and environments they’ll encounter that makes proper dog combat gear so important. Dog combat vests protect from bullets, flying debris, and other weapons while not restricting movement to the four-legged assistant.
These dogs work alongside law enforcement, combat engineers and border guards in Ukraine. Just like their human counterparts, they’re putting their lives at risk in a dangerous combat zone, but also serve to bring hope to a war-torn country. Keeping these furry heroes as safe as possible is the least humans can do and a strong defense against the weight of war.