Military dog heroes honored with K-9 Medal of Courage

(FOX NEWS) -- Five military dogs who served the U.S. during deployments overseas were awarded the K-9 Medal of Courage Tuesday on Capitol Hill.

The now-retired dogs — Taba, Jig, Summer, Jag and Taker — were honored with the Lois Pope award by American Humane for demonstrating "exceptional valor in serving our country" as they served in places like Iraq and Afghanistan alongside and in support of U.S. armed forces on the battlefield.


The pups worked in different branches of the military and held different roles, ranging from bomb sniffing to serving "on the frontlines of the War on Terror."


One of the dogs, Jig, served in the Marines Corps for five years detecting improvised explosive devices (IEDs) "until his career was cut short due to an oral melanoma diagnosis."


Taker, a 12-year-old Labrador retriever, was praised for his time with the Marines, during which he "saved countless lives." Taker retired in 2012.

Another pup named Taba also searched for explosive devices "and participated in countless raids" during her time as a U.S. Army Special Forces Multi-Purpose K-9.


Summer previously served with the Marines and now serves as a member of a TSA K-9 team under the Amtrak Police Department. Jag was "a critical K-9 component in hundreds of missions protecting his fellow soldiers" until his retirement in 2013. Both were also honored Tuesday.


“These remarkable dogs have given us their best," Lois Pope said of the veterans. "They have put their own lives on the line to protect us, to defend us, and to save us."

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