During his seven years as a search-and-rescue pilot for the Royal Air Force, British heir to the throne Prince William had two dogs protecting him: Brus, a seven-year-old Belgian Shepherd, and Blade, a nine-year-old German Shepherd. They patrolled the North Wales base “in a two-dog section set up specifically to protect William,” according to the Sun.
As you may know, William retired from service last week. Three days after he did so, the two dogs were euthanized.
The Ministry of Defense thinks it did nothing wrong.
“The department’s policy is to rehome all military working dogs at the end of their service life wherever practicable,” a MoD spokesman told the Daily Mail. “Regrettably, however, there are occasions when they have to be put down.”
What occasions are those?
“Unfortunately, in this case the dogs were unsuitable for rehoming or alternative duties and so sadly, for the animal’s welfare, they had to be put down.”
What does that mean? Well, a source told the Daily Mail that the dogs “were too aggressive to be kept at home” and that they couldn’t be reassigned to other duties because the dogs “had a record of veterinary and behavioral issues.”
We don’t have a full accounting of that reason, but on the face of it: ridiculous. A military base couldn’t train a dog? It’s not like it’s a place dedicated to training. And what “veterinary issues” couldn’t a military base handle, really, with the government footing the bill? More information about this needs to come out.
The RAF is claiming that the euthanasias were in no way related to the Prince leaving, and that the Prince did not work with the dogs.
“To be clear, they were RAF Valley security patrol dogs, not sole protection for Prince William,” the source said. “The timing of their sad demise is purely coincidental.”
That source was quick to reassure the Daily Mail reporter that at least someone loved the dogs.
“These dogs had played an invaluable role offering security to our personnel over many years and were much loved by their handlers, who had an extremely strong bond with them.”
Prince Williams has made no comment. At home, he and Kate spend their lives with Lupo, a black Cocker Spaniel.