The US Army Garrison (USAG) Bavaria recently celebrated a pivotal moment with a groundbreaking ceremony, heralding the commencement of construction for a state-of-the-art military canine complex.

The $4.6 million project is poised to establish a modern, standardized working dog center, replacing a kennel with over a century of service.

“This kennel is long overdue,” emphasized US Army Garrison Bavaria Commander Col. Kevin Poole. Poole added, “We have to take care of our canine friends of the 131st Military Working Dog Detachment. It breaks my heart every time I walk into this kennel.”

Long-Awaited Upgrade

Plans for the new facility were initially laid out in 2014, with construction originally slated for 2019. However, the unfolding of the COVID-19 pandemic and its subsequent economic impact led to delays in the center’s development.

Staff Sgt. Nicholas Ames of the 131st Military Working Dog Detachment explained the importance of the much-needed upgrade of the old building, which, by the way, has been erected and in service since 1914. It needed significant improvements and renovations for two primary reasons:

Health Reasons for the Dogs: The primary concern is the well-being and health of the military working dogs that reside in the kennel. Over the years, the kennel had likely become outdated and no longer met modern animal care and health standards. This could include issues such as inadequate ventilation, sanitation, or safety features, all of which are critical for the health and comfort of the dogs.

Standard Compliance: The kennel needed to be brought up to contemporary standards and regulations governing the care and housing of military working dogs. These standards ensure that dogs have the best living conditions to maintain their physical and mental health. Meeting these standards is not only essential for the dogs’ welfare but also for complying with military regulations and ethical responsibilities.

military canine
(Image source: US Army)

The existing complex will remain operational during construction, with the new facility projected to be ready for occupancy by October 2025.