France honors hero dogs with memorial

Suippes, France: From tracking down suspects in the 2015 Paris terror attacks to fighting extremists in Africa’s Sahel region, dogs have helped French soldiers, police officers, and rescue teams save lives for more than a century.

In recognition of the four-pawed partners, France last week inaugurated a memorial paying tribute to all “civilian and military hero dogs.” It features a sculpture by French-Columbian artist Milthon depicting a World War I soldier and his dog huddled together.

The monument is located in front of the town hall in Suippes, part of an area of northeast France that saw major battles during World War I. The placement acknowledges the important role dogs played in the U.S. and European armies of the time.

Suippes is also home to the largest military kennel in Europe, where members of the French army’s 132nd canine infantry regiment train dogs for military duty. The regiment currently consists of 650 army personnel and 550 dogs.

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