Let’s honour animals in war providing the sniff sense to our diggers

Take a moment to remember the actions and sacrifices of the animals that serve alongside our servicemen and women.For many, ANZAC Day – 25 April – is probably one of Australia's most important national occasions since it marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War. Despite this conflict breaking out nearly 100 years ago, Australians still recognise 25 April as an occasion of national remembrance – a time for us to reflect on the many different meanings of war – and a time to remember the heroes.

In December 2012, at our Animal Action Awards, IFAW presented the inaugural Outstanding Animal of the Year award recognising the amazing achievements two dogs who served alongside our soldiers detecting improvised explosive devices (IED) in Afghanistan.

By acknowledging Flo Jo and Cody’s achievements, IFAW hoped that our supporters would better understand the heroism displayed by service animals. This ANZAC Day, we’d like to continue to express gratitude to all service animals and their handlers.

As with the story of Cody and Flo Joe, service animals are invaluable to our soldiers during times of conflict. In addition to the practical skills and expertise that service animals provide, the companionship these animals deliver without question to often isolated soldiers is immeasurable.

In the harsh reality of a warzone, these animals become the partner, friend and confidante of their handlers; we’ve even heard reports that many IED dogs serving in Afghanistan sleep in or next to their human comrades.

This ANZAC Day, IFAW would like to encourage you to take a moment to remember the actions and sacrifices of the animals that serve alongside our servicemen and women.

--IM

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Experts

Cynthia Milburn, Director, Animal Welfare Outreach & Education
Director, Animal Welfare Outreach & Education
Jan Hannah
Northern Dogs Project Manager
Nancy Barr, Program Director, Animal Action Education
Program Director, Animal Action Education