Pentagon: Law prohibits dog burial at veterans' cemetery

Pentagon: Law prohibits dog burial at veterans' cemetery

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By Ron Savage
Fox 2 News


SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WJBK) -- The male black lab served his country.  Mina the bomb sniffing canine sadly was put down after he developed a serious lung infection.

Mina was promoted to the rank of sergeant in the U.S. Army and he was given an honorable discharge.  His handler, Sergeant Corey McCourt, who is still serving in the Army, requested Mina be buried at Great Lakes National Cemetery in Holly.

But now I have a ruling from the Pentagon.  They called and informed me that all national cemeteries are guided by federal law and there are no provisions for the burial of animals.  They cited the federal law from 1973 -- the National Cemetery Act.  The law reads burial of animals is not permitted.  That includes canines who served the U.S. in combat.

We also made contact with the Military War Dog Cemetery in Lyon Township on Milford Road.  The cemetery director said they are offering a service with full military honors.  Canine services are free. Families do pay for a headstone if they so choose.

I spoke with Mina's family.  They are still considering options and have not made a final decision.  They are also contacting senators and congressmen representing Michigan.  They are hoping to have the ruling overruled to allow a canine burial.

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