The case of the military dog abandoned by the state after saving the life of soldiers in Afganistan succeeded to make a change in the law that condemned him to suffering. Now, the Ministry of the Defence wants to correct its mistake and to make the distinction between the life of an animal employed by the army and that of a used vehicle, ready for cassation.
The German Shepherd suffers of heartworm, a terrible disease he got on the battlefield in Afghanistan, where he accompanied and helped the Romanian special troops. According to specialists, Max would have not gotten ill if he would have been given in due time a pill that would have protected him from heartworm for three months. After onset of the disease, instead of providing him the adequate treatment – worth approximately RON 600 monthly, for three years – the army preferred to send Max to a shelter in Bucharest, where he would have been euthanized in two weeks, were he not requested by a potential adopter. As a comparison, in Germany, the UK or the USA, military dogs are decorated after their missions on the battlefield. The state pays for their medical care and the military system provides support to his carers.
The chance of the German Shepherd was represented by Sorina Harnea, an animal lover struggling to save him, helped by an association focused on animal protection.
The foreign press reacted to the story of the Romanian dog
The case of Max, victim to a ridiculous law that turned him into a mere object ready for cassation after being declared unable to further execute military missions shocked not only Romania, but also the entire world. Newspapers on all continents covered the destiny of the hero dog of the Romanian army, Max. They finally noted that the Defence Minister himself got involved in order to change the law. “Moved by the destiny of Max, a German Shepherd who served in Afghanistan, Romanian Defence Minister Mircea Dusa ordered experts on Monday to conceive a draft law for retiring military dogs”, the French website 20minutes reported.
“Draft law in Romania, targeted to save Max the veteran dog of War in Afganistan”, announces a headline in Liberation, quoting a piece of news issued by the France-Presse.
Croatian Times writes that Max, specialized in detecting explosive devices, attended two missions in Afghanistan and was a regular attendant of the National DayParade. The article also quotes the dog’s trainer, Sergeant Valentin Rosioara: “He risked his life in order to save those of other people”, Rosioara declared.
Max’ story was also covered in Australia. SBS TV station announced on his website that the dog’s fate stirred passions and that an online petition was created in order to save the hero dog. The petition collected almost 27,000 signatures, determining Minister Mircea Dusa to order a change in the laws establishing the military dogs’ rights.
There is also a Malaysian paper covering Max: “Romania changes laws to save sick hero dog”, Malaysian Digest informs. “Save retiring military dogs!”, points out the title of the article published by the Canadian site Canoe, that also tells the story of Max.
Persons who want to donate for the treatment of the German Shepherd may do it in the account of the Association “Nu mai esti singur”, C.F.:13572772, mentioning “pentru Max- soldatul nostru” (“to Max, our soldier”, editor’s note). Also, a RON bank account was opened: RO60BTRL04501205858688xx, at Banca Transilvania, Beller Agency.