National Red Crosses, particularly in Germany and France, trained Mercy Dogs to help wounded soldiers in no-man lands during World War I. The dog would sniff out wounded soldiers who could still be helped. They used their instincts to leave behind those who had already perished, or that help would arrive too late to help.
Mercy Dogs Locate Wounded Soldiers
In some cases, the dog would deliver first aid supplies to the soldier, who could help himself and recover enough to get to safety. In other cases, the dog would tear off a piece of the soldier’s uniform and take it back to a medic. Then, he would lead the medic to the injured soldier. Amazingly, the dogs could even tell what side of the war the soldier was fighting for, helping only those on their side.
Provide Last Comfort
In other cases, the dog would stand patiently at the side of a dying man and provide comfort during their last moments. Some dogs were also known to drag soldiers to trenches and wait with the injured soldier until it was safe to summon help.
Mercy Dogs Deserving Respect
One dog that deserves respect is Captain as he found 30 soldiers during one day. Another great example is Prusco, who helped rescue 100 injured soldiers during one battle. Military doctors often praised these dogs because of their innate ability to sense when medics would be able to help someone, even when a human could not detect any sign of life.
There were at least 10,000 dogs used in this capacity during World War I. Dogs were also used to help identify and treat wounded soldiers during World War II and the Korean Conflict. As battles advanced from trenches to more technical battlefields, the military no longer used dogs.