Dozens of military dogs were put down last year after they were found to be unfit for service.Â Â
A total of 41 were euthanised when they could no longer perform the demanding roles they were trained for.Â
The dogs were found to have illnesses and chronic conditions while others were healthy and judged to be unsuitable for being rehomed with civilians.Â Â Â Â
A total of 41 military dogs were euthanised this year after being found to be unfit for service
Despite this, 121 dogs were rehomed in 2017 under a scheme known as Military Working Dogs, according to Freedom of Information figures.
In the same year 14 Military Working Horses were euthanised and 52 rehomed.
There are currently hundreds of Forces dogs whoÂ are often exposed to traumatic events while working in war zones and doing dangerous work such as clearing explosives.
Dog behaviourist Debbie Connolly, founder of SafePets UK, said she believed some animals which were put down could have been spared.Â
The dogs were found to have illnesses and chronic conditions while others were healthy and judged to be unsuitable for being rehomed with civilians
Kelly Wolstencroft (pictured) with two Army dogs which helped save thousands of lives while on duty in Afghanistan which were put down in 2017
She told the Mirror: ‘Occasionally I get them and put them through rehab.
‘The problem is that the MoD don’t seem to be keen on working with anyone else. It’s just them deciding.
‘I’m not pretending this is a fluffy bunny business where every dog can be rehabilitated. But they should be given the chance.’Â
The MoD have defended this and said every effort has been made to rehome the animals but at times, rehoming does pose a risk.
There are currently hundreds of Forces dogs who are often exposed to traumatic events while working in war zones and doing dangerous work such as clearing explosives
The decisions are made following a full assessment by military veterinarians and dog behaviourist experts.Â
Two military dogs who helped save thousands of lives were put down last year after they were found to be ‘unsafe’ to be rehomed.Â
The dogs, Kevin and Dazz,Â worked with troops to locate explosives in Afghanistan.Â
Just under 400 military dogs are currently working in the British Army.
They operate with handlers on various operations, including detecting Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), looking for safe routes and buildings and drug-busting tasks.Â
Many have served in conflicts in Northern Ireland, Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosovo and Bosnia.
When they come to the end of their service they go to a Â group of highly experienced dog trainers within the Canine Training Squadron.Â
The job of these trainers is to ‘de-train’ dogs, to prepare them for possible rehoming into the civilian population.Â
The trainers use techniques to relax the dogs, and make them understand that they no longer have to work.Â
They aim to introduce the dogs to ‘Civi Street’ in a controlled and safe way, continually assessing their suitability for rehoming.Â
Although not all dogs are suitable for rehoming, many are rehomed with ex-military dog handlers, and many are also rehomed with the general civilian population.
The process of ensuring a dog is suitable for the outside world is very strict, and rigorous procedures are followed to ensure dogs are re-homed wherever possible.Â
The requirements for being able to rehome a military working dog are quite strict, and there is a waiting list of applicants wishing to offer them a home.
Â If, at the end of ‘de-training’ dogs are considered too old, dangerous, ‘below standard’, ill or unfit, they will be put down.