Animal funds

‘War Dogs Garden of Remembrance’ opens at Front Royal’s Julia Wagner Animal Sanctuary – Royal Examiner

In an April 14 press release from the Humane Society of Warren County, the Memorial Day weekend dedication of a “War Dogs Garden of Remembrance” at the society’s county animal shelter on Progress Drive off of Shenandoah Shores Road has been announced. The ceremony will be complementary to, but separate from, other Memorial Day events. As noted below, the grand opening of the War Dogs Garden of Remembrance will take place on the grounds of the Wagner Shelter at noon on Saturday, May 28. county dog ​​and animal lovers are welcome to attend.

As noted in the statement, local dog lover, lawyer, former HSWC board chairman and Royal Examiner Contributing writer Malcolm Barr Sr. was instrumental in establishing the War Dogs Memorial on the grounds of the shelter. Read HSWC’s full statement on the ‘War Dogs Garden of Remembrance’ and its dedication below:

After ten years spent saluting the memory of military dogs lost in combat in wars since
World War II, this year the dogs will be recognized in a separate ceremony in a newly sculpted garden at the Julia Wagner Animal Sanctuary in Front Royal.

As in the past, the Front Royal ceremony will take place on Memorial Day weekend but separately from the annual Monday (May 30) salute to the dead of all wars: Saturday, May 28 at noon is the date set to honor the war dogs on their own site at the shelter.

Said Malcolm Barr Sr., former president of the Humane Society of Warren County (HSWC): “We felt it was fitting that the dogs should have their own memorial, especially since Front Royal was the first town in the country to train dogs for the world war. II before the U.S. military assumed responsibility.

War Dogs Garden of Remembrance patron Malcolm Barr Sr., with his diva Husky, who appears to model the War Dogs Memorial Statue has yet to arrive on this first visit to the Wagner Shelter Garden site. Royal Examiner/HSWC Photo by Roger Bianchini

Barr funded the modest garden that was dug in the shelter grounds last fall to await a life-size German Shepherd statue. The statue marks the spot which will eventually also be a quiet space of contemplation and rest for dog lovers and others who visit the shelter.

Michael Williams, whose father was a dog handler during the Vietnam War, will lead Saturday’s ceremony and offer blessings to war dogs, past and present, including the more recent introduction of dogs to assist in the enforcement of home front law, including those in Warren County.

HSWC Executive Director Meghan Bowers explains: “I love having such an important memorial to the bravery, companionship and accomplishment of the dogs here at the shelter. There’s nothing more special than the dedication and love of a dog or cat, and we’re so proud to have such a beautiful reminder to see every day.

Veterans have returned from war zones with praise for the dogs being used in increasing numbers on the battlefield and by local law enforcement. Most dogs, once considered mere “equipment”, have in recent years been treated as soldiers, with a rank generally higher than that of their masters. They usually retire from battle with their handler and funds to help with their veterinary care.

While many dogs, especially Belgian Malinois or Dutch or German Shepherds, come from overseas, the US Air Force is now training thousands of potential inductees at its Texas base near San Antonio. In May 2010, a small group of military and civilian activists began raising funds and lobbying for the first national dog memorial, which in 2012 was placed at the Airborne and Special Operations Museum in Fayetteville, North Carolina. , near Fort Bragg.

Among individual canine soldiers, who train between 6 and 12 months before going into the field, early recognition was given to a dog named Remco who charged into an insurgent’s hideout in Afghanistan, saving his life many soldiers. Two years later, in 2011, a Belgian Malinois named Cairo took part in the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden. In Vietnam, our war dogs were so successful in their work that, according to author Betty Frankel, bounties of up to $20,000 were placed on them by the North Vietnamese.

Interested individuals, especially those whose family members may have served with dogs in World War II, the Korean, Vietnam, Afghan and Iraqi Wars, or local police officers whose duties involve dogs and wish to participate in the ceremony, please contact the shelter (540-635-4734) or call Malcolm Barr (540-636-7407).