dog study wastes tax dollars
In 2011, the Office of Naval Research, Department of Defense, agreed to
fund veterinarian Michael Davis's research on "Building a Better Canine
Warfighter." The Oklahoma State University Center for Veterinary Health
Sciences Research Abstract described his study: "Dogs are increasingly
being used as warfighters tasked with assignments ranging from attack/patrol
to explosive detection." "This study will develop conditioning and monitoring
programs to prepare canine warfighters for the stress of deployment, including
the proper type of athletic conditioning, heat tolerance and dietary support."
According to the United States War Dog Association, the vast majority
of United States military working dogs are German and Dutch Shepherds
and Belgian Malinois. "For specialized roles, detector dogs in particular,
other breeds are used. Retrievers (Labrador, Golden or Chesapeake Bay)
are the preferred breeds for One Odor Detector dogs." The military only
uses Huskies for arctic duty pulling sleds.
Wouldn't it make sense for Davis to do research on Shepherds, Malinois
and Retrievers since they are actually used most often for military work?
But that's not what he's doing. For this study, Davis is doing research
on Iditarod Alaskan Huskies.
The United States Department of State lists 30 countries as dangerous
or unstable. Most of these countries have tropical or arid climates. When
military dogs would most likely be working in these places, wouldn't it
make sense for Davis to do research in deserts like those found in Arizona,
Texas and California, and in tropical places like Puerto Rico, US Virgin
Islands and Hawaii? But that's not what he's doing. Davis is doing research
on Alaskan Huskies who live in Alaska. Canine "warfighters" would most
often face intense heat, blowing sand, intense sun, high humidity and
heavy rain. These climate conditions don't exist in Alaska.
Davis's research is supposed to develop canine conditioning and monitoring
programs for "heat tolerance." That's impossible in Alaska. This study
is nothing more than a waste of our tax dollars.
- Margery Glickman, director, Sled Dog Action Coalition
Contact SDAC: sleddogAC@aol.com