More than 1,000 dogs working for the Army have been put down since the start of the war in Afghanistan, new figures reveal.
Dogs work alongside soldiers in conflict zones, some acting to sniff out explosives or to track down insurgents.
They provide an invaluable service, but when they reach the end of their working lives they dont always get to retire in comfort.
Ministry of Defence documents show that hundreds of old and worn out dogs (thats dogs over the age of eight) were put down between 2002 and 2017.
The Daily Star Sunday obtained documents about the figures from a Freedom of Information request.
One document said: Old and worn out dogs are animals who have reached a certain age (over eight-years-old) and are no longer able to carry out their duties to the requisite standard.
Paul Farthing, a former Royal Marine who runs a dog re-homing charity Nowzad, told the paper: Any dogs that worked for the British military to help save lives in the various conflicts around the world, where they have served alongside a human handler, should be given every opportunity to ensure they are provided a decent retirement.
Around 400 dogs are currently working in the armed forces.
The military does have a system to rehome dogs, after they are detrained and classed as safe to become pets.
There is a waiting list to rehome dogs which have served in the military, with some former dog handlers taking them on and others adopted by members of the public.
An MoD spokesman said: Military working animals provide an invaluable service to our troops, and every effort is made to re-home them at the end of their service life.
Decisions are taken following an extensive assessment of the animals and any potential new home.
Sadly, there are some occasions where it is not possible to re-home an animal safely.