On July 11, 2009 the Chicago Sun-Times (Scripps Howard News Service) reported that the U.S. military is considering the addition of a new criminal offense — cruelty to animals — to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the body of law and code of conduct that governs those in the armed services.
A commission has suggested adding animal neglect and abuse as a specific offense after reports of abandonment of pets by troops being deployed to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Also troubling commanders are occasional cases of cruelty, such as a recent one at the Army’s Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas, where a 22-year-old military policeman was reprimanded after he was found to have purposely broken in three places the leg of one of his dogs and stomped on the neck of another, killing it, in March. The MP faces discharge.
*** The soldier and dog shown here is in no way associated with the Fort Bliss MP’s animal cruelty case.