Canine Veterans Integrated Into Civilian Life With Capitol Police - NBC4 Washington

Canine Veterans Integrated Into Civilian Life With Capitol Police



    News4's Kristin Wright introduces you to two veteran canines, who now work with U.S. Capitol Police. (Published Friday, July 4, 2014)

    A couple of four-legged veterans who served our country in Iraq and Afghanistan have adjusted well to civilian life, though they continue to protect and serve on a daily basis.

    Just 14 years ago, a federal law was passed making it illegal to euthanize military dogs.

    U.S. Capitol Police has several of those veteran canines in its K-9 units, like Fantom, who served two tours with the Army in Afghanistan.

    "[They were] getting shot at, having IEDs going off around [them], having incoming mortar fire... I would have anticipated a little more difficulty with the dogs integrating, but that hasn't been the case at all," Jim Davis with U.S. Capitol Police said. "[Fantom] is about as easygoing as it gets unless you're trying to take his ball!"

    Fantom is celebrating his 5th birthday this Friday. 

    "He means everything to me," Davis said. "If you can imagine going to work with your best friend and the most reliable partner you could ever imagine, that's what it's like being a K-9 handler."

    Four-year-old Heijn was also deployed to Afghanistan with the Army for two years. About two months ago, Heijn went through training and is adjusting well.

    "During that time, he was exposed to and hit by an IED about 10 feet away from him," Brian Kibala with U.S. Capitol Police said. "Even though he just turned 4 years old,  he has a lot of premature gray, but I think it's understandable for all the action he's seen."