Animal Planet debuts “Glory Hounds” featuring airman


It may not be “Call of the Wild” by Jack London, but it will surely show you a dog’s perspective.

This 2012 publicity photo provided by Animal Planet shows pre-deployment photos of Air Force Tech. Sgt. Leonard Anderson and a bomb-detecting dog, Azza, an 8-year-old Belgian Malinois at training in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Animal Planet)

At 8 p.m. this Thursday, Feb. 21, Animal Planet will debut GLORY HOUNDS, a two-hour, first-of-its-kind special with Animal Planet’s filmmakers and camera crews documenting handlers and military working dogs in some of the most volatile regions of Afghanistan. The show repeats 9 a.m. Feb. 24 ET/PT.

According to a release from Animal Planet, camera teams acquired specialized training before spending six weeks in Afghanistan embedded with the troops. It took the network a year to get permission to film the special, which followed the animals into insurgent-filled combat zones.

In the film is Air Force Tech. Sgt. Leonard Anderson, a military dog handler who was severely wounded when a bomb exploded on a strip of dirt in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. While he was being treated, by his side stood Azza, an 8-year-old Belgian Malinois, who whimpered in worry.

Azza became a military dog when she was 3-years-old and detecting explosives was her specialty, Anderson said.

On July 28, 2012, Azza and Anderson patrolled a mile from the base camp to do a routine check to ensure “where his men and dogs were headed and what they were facing.” Military experts who examined the blast site afterward said the bomb was activated by remote control, not set off by touch.

The explosion knocked the camera out of Craig Constant’s hands, the cameraman following Anderson that day.

“I don’t know how he survived. There was a 6-foot-by-5-foot crater, and he was right on top of it,” said Constant, who suffered ear drum damage and shrapnel wounds. The sound technician behind Constant was wounded in the leg.

Anderson slipped in and out of consciousness while a medic and Constant, who is a former Marine, worked on his legs. Azza was “fixated” on Anderson and restless while he was being treated.

Anderson lost his left forearm and four fingers on his right hand, suffered upper body injuries and lost the skin on both legs. He has undergone at least 20 surgeries to repair the damage.

Yet still, Azza remains with Anderson. She has been retired and was adopted by Anderson, his wife and their sons.

In GLORY HOUNDS, as in war, some dogs and handlers come home, some return forever changed, and some don’t come home at all.

“They call them tools, and they are not. They are soldiers. They just have four paws instead of two feet. They walk in front of the platoons,” Constant said in the Associated Press article.

“It’s a deadly game, and they die all the time. But they save lives by finding IEDs that technology can’t find.”

To get a sneak peek of the film, visit Animal Planet’s GLORY HOUNDS.


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  1. Amazing show! Please do more. There are alot of people who support our troops but we need more “real” shows to show what they actually go through. I send prayers for everyone featured, as well as everyone serving as well as their families! God Bless all of you and thank you for your service.

  2. I support our troops 100% but when i watched the show on 2-21-13 i was outraged. not from the k9 program or the show representing it but by one individule and his story. The segment on lance corperal kent ferral and his k9 zora needs to be addressed. This k9 was killed by an enemys grenade and its handler denied any fault or responcibility in the event. He also stated that “if i had it all to do over i wouldn’t change a thing”. the program also showed another handler revewing and learning from footage of his experience with an IED the previous day yet LC kent ferral did not do this. If LC ferral had ran to his k9 and hit the deck with his dog they would bouth be alive today. By calling his dog back twards the grenade is what killed the dog. And now not having learned from his mistake he is prone to make it again and get another k9 killed if not himself and others. Someone absolutely has to relay these facts to LC ferrals CO not to get him into trouble but to insure that it dose not happen again. Also this information can help other k9 units as well. I hold the producers of this show and website personally responcible for acting on this information. If you agree post your openion on this site and demand action.

  3. Hang on a second, Karl. Any of us watching can see that the dog was killed while being pulled back to his handler. However, the important thing to note here is, unless you have been in their situation, how can you judge? You don’t know how you would react having a grenade thrown at you. You don’t know whether his training taught him to pull the dog back to him in those situations and he was acting on that or whether he truly thought pulling him back was the right thing because he didn’t know what was ahead and felt that retreating was the correct thing to do. You don’t know whether he did say something about his actions but the producer decided to edit that part out. You don’t know. And I think it’s a horrible injustice to that soldier to imply that his gut reaction, as a trained soldier and dog handler, was irresponsible and that he should have said…what?…I killed my dog?! Please. We could all sit here from the sidelines and judge the ‘shoulda, coulda, woulda’ moments from other peoples lives. Yours included I have no doubt. But we need to remember that what we (as untrained civilians) see from the sidelines is not always how things are. We may not agree, but he may have done exactly what he was trained to do. And this time it didn’t work out. Give the guy a break. He d oesn’t need any judgement from the peanut gallery. If his superiors found he did right, then we obviously have no place saying he was wrong.

  4. I agree that the producer could have potrayed things in a different light and that i may not know all the sercumstances. I also beleave that you didnt understand my statments for what they were. I never speculated or openianeted anything. Everything i wrote was based on facts straight from the show. I never meant to judge the soldier for his actions that got his dog killed, but his actions or lack therof after the fact. If he did indeed review the footage as the other handelers did on their experionces the producers didnt show it but that would only depen my offence to it becouse he stated that he couldn’t and wouldn’t have done anything differently. There was a serious lesson there to be learned and he clearly did not learn it. That and that alone is what got my panties in a bunch becouse everyone knows that history not learned is bound to be repeated. That is why the other handalers are trained to review the footage of their experiences, to learn from those experiences and be better prepared for the next time. I asked that the handler and his CO be notifyied of this as to be able to use it as a training tool to be better prepared for future events NOT to persecute, I was very clear on this in my original statements. As for my personal experiences and knowledge yes you do not know anything about me, and yes i do have experiences and knowledge with dog handeling and training so this is not mere critisim from the penut gallery and i do take this very seriously. So as i said i hold the producers and such responcible to set the record straight and do something about it becouse what they showed and how they showed this handeler in perticular makes him look like the only one who doesent follow the same protocals as all of the others, and therfore makes him look untrained, irrisponcible, and a danger to himself and others. If this is all becouse of how the producers eddited and portrayed him then it is up to them to correct it becouse that would be dissrepectfull to him and his k-9. If it is the fact that he does not review the footage of his experiences like all the other handelers do and he neglected to learn from it as was shown then it is up to him to do so. Being a k-9 handler is a great responcibility you have to constantly keep up on your training and always pay attention to details and learn from every experience. If you do not hold true to that then you do not belong on the end of a leash. As for the handlers and their k-9s my heart goes out to them and i hope and pray that he does learn from this as i stated and he or his fellow soldiers never have to repeat such a horrible event with those painful conciquences again. As for the readers of these statements do not take my straight matter of fact standing for coldness or dissrespect, I do understand what these boys are going thrugh, and i also understand the value of hard lessons learned on the battlefield. It’s about being better prepared and staying alive, NOT emotions and guilt. In combat dwelling on emotions and guilt will get you and yours killed as sure as ignoring your sargent or your surroundings. If you civies cant understand where im coming from then you dont have the right to critisize my comments.

  5. After watching this show, I have even more respect for our military men, women and dogs. Their sacrifice is unreal. Thank you to all. But I could not help to come away from it ANGRY. Angry at our government for not giving our troops the tanks to fight this war the right way. We can’t fight this enemy on foot when they are planting bombs in the ground everywhere. The dogs are great at detection, but do their lives not matter too? Let’s get our troops the proper equipment, no matter the cost and prevent the loss of lives and limbs.

  6. I am so happy to see a show that is dedicated to the military working animals. This show highlights their importance not only on the battlefield but as a part of the service branch they are in. They are NOT just TOOLS for the military, but are living breathing members of their team. There have been so many documented accounts of service dogs, horses ect left behind or “shot out back” when their units are shipped out and ordered to leave them behind. Finally, we can shine a bright spotlight on our four-legged military heroes and make sure they are ALL brought home.

  7. Cindy, we do have tanks. Afghan terrain doesn’t let you use tanks everywhere. Also, you don’t fight this kind of war in a tank. Please stick to what you know something about and leave the war fighting to the war fighters

  8. This show is one of the most surreal efforts to put fact verses fiction. Anyone consider pulling the Zora back was training to recoil and knowing there were more grenades coming up ahead was a gut reaction.

  9. My daughter and I watched this show for the first time on Sept 13, 2014. We held our breath and cried a few times!!!! We also gained even more respect for the troops and their commitment to their job and respect for the incredibly loyal and dedicated dogs they are privileged to work with!
    Thank you for this show and giving the 4 legged soldiers a platform to show their involvement in war and our freedom.

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