Most people planning to adopt a rescue dog will be happy if it looks suitably needy and does not eat the furniture, but after a canine joined the elite squad that killed Osama bin Laden, a good temperament and basic house-training may no longer be enough.
Since the raid on 2 May, rescue centres in the US are seeing a surge indemand for retired war dogs. The Navy Seals canine, called Cairo and thought to be a german shepherd, was tasked with tracking anyone who tried to escape Bin Laden's compound in Pakistan.
Decked out in $30,000 (£18,500) of hi-tech kit, Cairo was bulletproof, able to record high-definition video, and bring down any al-Qa'ida suspects who slipped past members of Seal Team 6. He is among a growing number of dogs being deployed inthe combat zone. They jump with their handlers out of helicopters, parachute from great heights, and sniff out drugs and roadside bombs.
"These dogs are fully trained, are worth probably $40,000 to $50,000 each at least, and it's a dog that has been saving American lives," Ron Aiello of the US War Dogs Association told the Associated Press.
About 300 retired military dogs are put up for adoption each year.
The Military Working Dog Adoptions organisation say they have received 300 enquiries in the past two weeks alone.Reuse content