Should Service Dogs be Allowed to be Buried in Military Cemeteries?

Tuesday, February 05, 2013
Mina the Service Dog (photo: June Etlinger)

The Obama administration has been asked to change the rules regarding military cemeteries to allow military service dogs to be buried among soldiers.


A petition was filed with the White House’s “We the People” website requesting the rule changing, while citing the story of Mina, a dog who served nine tours in Afghanistan. Mina was promoted to sergeant and received an honorable discharge from the military, before dying at the age of 13 back in the United States.


The dog’s owner, June Etlinger, contacted the government to see if Mina could be buried at a local veterans’ cemetery, but was laughed at and told that canine burials were not permitted.


“They have ranks. They have serial numbers tattooed in their ears,” Etlinger’s husband, Robin, told the Tri-County Times. “They’re just like soldiers and they have a right to be honored as a soldier.”


More than 600 dogs have served in Iraq and Afghanistan as of 2011, according to The New York Times.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Petition Asks Obama To Allow Burial Of Service Dogs At Military Cemeteries (by Kedar Pavgi, Government Executive)

Four-Legged Veteran Denied Burial Rights In National Cemetery (by William Axford, Tri-County Times)

Provide Military Service Animals the Dignity of a Soldiers Burial (We the People)

Military Dog Suffers Post-Traumatic Stress from Service in Iraq (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

Military Dog Surge in Afghanistan (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


william valli 9 years ago

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