Houghtaling & Downey Measure to Honor Military Working Dog Handlers Clears Assembly Committee

Legislation Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling and Assemblywoman Joann Downey sponsored to honor military dog handlers was advanced Thursday by an Assembly committee.

“Military working dog handlers train canines to patrol an area, find explosives during combat and neutralize threats if necessary,” said Houghtaling (D-Monmouth). “The work these handlers do ultimately can save the lives of their fellow men and women in uniform and is worthy of recognition.”

“Military dogs and their handlers make up unique teams that face all kinds of dangers together while on patrol,” said Downey (D-Monmouth). “Considering their increasing role in military operations, U.S. military K-9 teams ought to receive an official commendation for their courageous efforts.”

The bill (A-4161) would create the New Jersey Military Working Dog Handler and Military Working Dog medal. To qualify for the medal, a person must be a current or former New Jersey resident who was officially listed as a handler of a military working dog while serving in the military. The medal would be awarded in recognition of valor or meritorious achievement by handlers and dogs.

The measure was advanced by the Assembly Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee.