Wednesday, July 23, 2014 | 3:58 p.m.
There are a lot of niche issues for lawmakers to champion in Congress. Rep. Dina Titus, a Las Vegas Democrat, chose a particularly fluffy one today.
In between votes and media interviews, Titus spoke to a packed room on Capitol Hill of retired military dogs and their owners in support of legislation that helps more humanely retire those dogs.
“These are our heroes on both ends of the leash,” she said.
As it stands, military dogs — often classified within the military as “equipment” — who end their service in a non-combatant zone aren’t allowed to fly home on military aircraft with their human colleagues. Many dogs have to stay behind.
The Capitol Hill event, hosted by Titus’ colleague on the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, Rep. Gus Bilirakis, a Republican from Florida who champions military dogs, featured the American Humane Society's work in bringing some dogs home to their owners.
At the press conference, service members shared their heartbreaking stories of heading back to the United States without their dogs.
Titus said it was an issue worth squeezing into her busy schedule. “I’ve always kind of championed animal issues,” she said.