Bomb-Sniffing Dog in Iraq May Get Early Discharge

A new defense authorization package may grant Rex an early retirement.

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When Air Force Tech. Sgt. Jamie Dana woke up in a military hospital with internal injuries after her Humvee was bombed in Iraq, she called out for Rex, her bomb-sniffing German Shepherd Dog. At first, Dana was told he was dead. She later learned he was alive, but she would be unable to adopt Rex because of Air Force regulations.

By law, military dogs cannot be adopted until they are considered too old for useful duty, reports ABC News. Because Rex is only 5 years old and the official retirement age is 10 to 14 years, he can not be considered for adoption.

However, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, John Warner, R-Va., told Dana he would try to change the law as part of a $441.3 billion defense authorization package, reports ABC News. Under a measure approved last week by House-Senate negotiators, the military will have the authority to waive adoption rules for dogs. Congress may pass the authorization bill this week, and send it to President Bush for his signature.

Rep. John Peterson, R-Pa., tells ABC News, I can see so much therapy in having her friend Rex there to heal with her. Dana is currently recuperating on her farm in Pennsylvania.

Posted: Dec. 16, 2005, 5a.m. EST

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