War dog laid to rest with military honors - Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

War dog laid to rest with military honors

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METHUEN, Mass. (MyFoxBoston.com) -- A New Hampshire woman's years-long search for a cemetery that would allow her beloved war dog to be laid to rest with military honors came to an end Saturday.

Pam Pelton's dog, Max, was buried at the MSPCA Hillside Acre Cemetery as those who knew and loved him gathered to say their goodbyes.

Max did four years of active duty with the Air Force before he was retired in 2007. He was trained as a sniffing dog, but military officials have not released exact details of his service to Pelton.

Pelton adopted the German Shepherd from the Military War Dog Agency at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas and Max lived the last five years of his life in Northfield, N.H.

"When they gave me Max's military medical file, it said he had been retired because he had failed his recertification exam, and in his file, was a notation that said 'Dog retired, became too nice,'" Pelton told FOX 25's Jessica Reyes.

When Max passed away on Memorial Day 2012, Pelton began the search for a burial place, but no military cemeteries would take him.

"Wouldn't give me a reason, but they all refused or I'd get a response like, 'Why don't you put him in a pet cemetery?' Because he wasn't a pet, he was a soldier," Pelton explained.

The MSPCA has since dedicated a section of Hillside Acre Cemetery for war dogs and Max was the first to be buried there. He is the ninth war dog to be buried in the cemetery.

While Pelton said goodbye to her beloved pet Saturday, she planned to welcome a new adopted animal into her home. She told FOX 25 when she first got in touch with the MSPCA, they asked her if she would be interested in adopting another dog. Earlier this week, she received a phone call saying they had one who they thought would be a good fit. When she met the dog, she learned his name is also Max. She planned to bring the dog home Saturday.
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