The amount of people looking to adopt retired American military dogs is surging after news spread this week that a military dog played a key role in the special forces operation to take out ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
President Trump tweeted a photo of the Belgian Malinois dog, Conan, on Monday, which added to the already rising interest in applications to adopt military dogs, according to at least one retired military dog adoption advocacy group.
“The military dogs are really getting a lot of recognition right now, which they should,” President of U.S. War Dogs Association Ron Aiello told Yahoo Finance’s YFi PM. “Back when we had taken out Bin Laden, everyone wanted to adopt a Belgian Malinois [dog] and the same thing is happening now.”
Aiello, a former dog handler for the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War, launched his organization to help drive advocacy for retired military dogs that had decades ago been euthanized after service. Now, his organization helps heal and line up adoption opportunities for America’s retired military dogs, which can cost the U.S. around $50,000 to procure, train, and ship to the field.
We have declassified a picture of the wonderful dog (name not declassified) that did such a GREAT JOB in capturing and killing the Leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi! pic.twitter.com/PDMx9nZWvw— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 28, 2019
Similar to what transpired in 2011, after media reports focused on the role a Belgian Malinois military dog played in the SEAL operation that took out Osama Bin Laden, Aiello says he’s received more than a couple of dozen calls and emails from people wanting to adopt the more than 870 retired four-legged veterans his association currently works with.
Trump said he’s looking forward to meeting Conan after the military dog completes his trip from the Middle East to the White House next week.