Should the Military Provide Lifetime Care for Retired Service Dogs?

Hoffman and Baddy worked to keep the President safe.
Photo courtesy Charlsie Hoffmann, via

When a human retires from the American military, he or she is guaranteed a lifetime of healthcare through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Military working dogs, however, receive no such benefits. In fact, once a retired MWD is adopted, the government washes its hands of responsibility of any kind. Charlsie Hoffman, adopted a Belgian Malinois named Baddy—a former member of Marine Corps’ HMX-1 canine squadron, which guarded the presidential helicopter—only to find that he was suffering from prostate cancer. The best treatment is very expensive, and Hoffman believes that the government should have repaid Baddy for his service.

But as soon as Hoffman adopted Baddy, the government stopped supporting him — the same as any other retired MWD. No transportation from the HMX-1 kennel in Quantico, Va., to a base closer to his new home in Los Angeles. No medical coverage to defray the cost of treating the hip dysplasia he’d developed while in the Marines. And certainly no $12,000 for combating the cancer that was now killing him.

What do you think?

The article below is long, but it’s well worth your time to read: both to honor Baddy and to look forward to how this system can be changed.

Click here for the full story.

2 thoughts on “Should the Military Provide Lifetime Care for Retired Service Dogs?”

  1. Any “vet” who served deserves the same support, REGARDLESS of how many legs they have. Unfortunately, these dogs may be better off with private care considering how badly the VA has “managed and supported” their human counterparts.

  2. Although members of Congress do not risk their lives to save their fellow man or woman they after retirement get some or all of their medical bills paid by ..US! Yet military dogs who are routinely saving military and civilians from harm by terrorist, in combat, etc once retired are no longer cared for or about! I’ve met many politicians and lived many dogs. Most people who own a dog knows that in a room full of your friends only your dog wouldn’t think twice about putting their life in the line to save its human. Not so Congress. Why area hero dogs if the military , TSA secret service, FBI, etc if hurt in line if duty cared for if they can be rehabilitated but retired without medical if they can’t return to work? Congress should be more like dogs!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *