March 13th recognizes National K9 Veterans Day and the dedicated K9 units who have served since World War II.  During WWI, the United States took notice of the European use of canines as sentries, message carriers, and several other functions.  A private citizen, Mrs. Alene Erlanger initiated a program called Dogs for Defense. Along with the American Kennel Club and a handful of breeders, the group aimed to train the dogs for military use.  By November of 1942, the military prepared the first Dogs for Defense for duty in North Africa.  As the war progressed, Dogs for Defense was unable to keep up with the demand, and the Remount Branch, Service Installations Divisions took over the training of the dogs.  Over the years, the military, police, and rescue have developed a variety of training methods for K9 units. Their training is tailored to meet the demands of the job, and each animal and handler carries out his or her duties to the fullest.