Army retires working dogs at Fort Benning -, GA News Weather & Sports

Army retires working dogs at Fort Benning

(WTVM) -

After years of service in the military, two very special members of the Army are finally getting to retire from their dangerous jobs.

Years of training, deployments, and sniffing out bombs, military working dog, "Fons," a Belgian Malinois, is moments away from walking out of his cage forever.

"I'm adopting my former military working dog Fons. I'll be taking him home today," said Staff Sergeant James Tolley.

In 2005, Fons was assigned to SSgt. Tolley, who said he normally only stays with dogs for a year.  This partnership is seven years and counting.

"We were stationed in Germany," he said. "We went to Iraq in 2005. We worked along the Syrian border.  We went on multiple missions for President Obama, President Bush and Vice President Chaney."

Through all the missions, the military working dog truly became man's best friend, as they worked alongside each other across continents.

"His primary skill set is explosive detection," he said. "He also does patrol work which encompasses attack work on fleeing subjects and searching for suspects."

It's a dangerous job that SSgt. Tolley said may take some time for Fons to move on from.

"I think the biggest challenge is going to be to get him to not want to search for explosives," SSgt. Tolley said. "Just taking him to my vehicle the other day to take him home, he walked up to it and started sniffing around like he was looking for explosives and I'm like 'hey buddy you're done with that."

Now that Fons is 10 years old and no longer able to work, he can finally put his paws up.

"I'm going to take him home and let him get a good spot on the couch and enjoy retirement," Staff Sergeant Tolley said.

Military working dog "Arka" is also saying goodbye to the Army. Her new owner, Staff Sergeant Alexis Scott, said Arka has been essential in her healing from an injury she sustained while deployed in 2009.

"It's been very helpful mentally and emotionally because the dogs don't mistreat you, they don't talk back to you, they don't talk down to you," SSgt. Scott said. "I've been working with Arka, because at that time, she was the lowest titration dog that they had here at the kennels, so her demeanor is very easy going."

SSgt. Scott said she has found a new love for canines and she plans to relocate with Arka to Texas to continue helping other military dogs.

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