Mina the Army dog denied burial in National Cemetery

A dog that sacrificed its life for my freedom absolutely deserves to be buried in an honorable cemetery. Hopefully this story going national will convince the caretaker to change his mind:

FOX NEWS – Mina is a male black lab who served nine tours of duty in Afghanistan and was promoted to sergeant before retiring from the Army, Fox 2 News reported. The dog served three tours with Michigan native Army Sgt. Corey McCourt.

“The dog sits in front of the bomb and my son, who does this, goes in and he disarms the bomb after the dog finds it,” McCourt’s mother, June Etlinger, told Fox 2 News.

But after developing a serious lung ailment at age 13, Mina was euthanized. And with her son still serving in the Army, Etlinger was tasked with finding a suitable final resting place for the canine hero. She’d like it to be Great Lakes National Cemetery in Holly, Mich.

“My father is buried there and my grandmother and grandfather are buried there. It’s a beautiful cemetery and it’s an honorable cemetery, and I just feel that Mina deserves that as well,” Etlinger said.

But the cemetery official denied Etlinger’s request. She said an official told her a canine burial is not allowed.

Watch the video:

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  • Rshill7

    Holly, Michigan is a nice little town. That’s where Carrie Nation did her thing. There’s a statue of her there.

    Not only should they bury this dog there. There should be a statue of him there too.

    I’d be happy to drive there with a shovel, just need someone to operate that shovel.

    Who’s with me?
    Who’s with me?


    • poljunkie

      I’d come. Rs.

      • Me too.

        • Line forms behind me! 🙂

          • poljunkie

            I love it!

        • MeanGreenBeret

          I love dogs. One of my favorites is a Ciao Ciao.Or is it spelled Chow? I suck at spelling.Ciao

          • Chow Chow it is, and I love those too! It’s too hot for them down here. When Iwas a kid I had a poster of Chows on my bedroom wall 🙂
            Mornin’ myGB. I know I missed you, but you’ll see this eventually. Hope you have a great day. xoxo

          • Please be careful. Chows can be vicious. piggies are loyal and dependable.

          • I’m wondering- do you have puppies who you’re training?

    • colliemum

      I’ll be there in spirit!

      • Rshill7

        Yay! I really dig you “guys” 🙂

    • PicklePlants

      I love the statue idea. A special spot in the cemetery, reserved for all military dogs, perhaps?

      • Now that is an awesome idea!!

    • Really, what are they afraid of–that the dead people will get dog germs? Most people probably bury their pets in the backyard…isn’t that more “unsafe”? I have several pets who’s ashes i still have that I intend to have them buried with me.

      • Your post reminded me… The same people that moan about germs with regard to pets don’t have a peep to say about all the squirrels, coyotes, bears, other wild animals that die and far more of them die in the wild near rivers, etc. This means to me that they don’t actually care about the pets, but about their controlling agenda. Control freaks!

    • 12grace

      I’m in.

      This precious dog is a hero and deserves to be treated accordingly. It seems in the obama administration the only people/groups that are honored are those that want to take away our freedom and hate America.

  • poljunkie


    Mina served her Country. OUR Country. NINE tours. Oh My goodness.
    Rest in Peace Mina, I hope you have a giant Rawhide in heaven.

  • colliemum

    Thanks for putting this up, rightscoop!

    That truly heroic dog has served with honour in a most dangerous place, not once, not twice, but three times. He prevented the death of so many servicemen and women by his work, helping to find the IEDs put in place by the Taliban.

    I’m sure we all are aware of the toll these IEDS took.

    So he more than deserves to be buried in that cemetery – and anyway, he’s a sergeant with an honourable discharge, that should count for something!

  • MiketheMarine

    This story pisses me off. I can’t comment anymore or I’ll get moderated for the slight against a fellow American warrior, just because he has paws.

  • Military dogs work and are amazing! They save lives and are absolute heroes. They deserve an honor such as this. How sad.

    This is a blog with some great and amazing stories of our four footed soldiers. Guarantee, even if you’re not a dog lover, you’ll be lovin’ these ones… http://khanrahan.com/

    • TY, I’ve bookmarked this site.

      • You can find Kevin on twitter Wolfie. That’s how I found out about his blog. It’s excellent.

        • Thanks, following him now. 🙂

    • colliemum

      Thanks for that link, ABiC!

      I’ve just sent him the link to this page, asking im if he might be able to help.

      • OH Good for you mum! (((())))s

        • colliemum

          Was no problem! Perhaps some other scoopers could send him the link as well.

          I’m hoping his connections with the army might get some balls rolling, to give that amazing dog the burial he deserves!

          • Done. I hope that if there is a follow up to this story Scoop and/or Kevin will be able to find out about it and report it so we can know.

  • Amy

    That’s pretty cold when you deny a K9 the burial it honorably deserves. Some people just don’t get the bond between the K9 and it’s ‘handler’ nor do they get the fact that our service dogs are literally on the pointy end of the sword. 🙁

    • poljunkie

      I absolutely agree Amy. Our (non) military dogs, who are just little 13 pounders fill our life with so much joy. They know when something is wrong and do their best to make us feel better. Our 90 pound “Marmaduke” of a Golden is the same way.
      The bond between man and dog is incredible.

      • Amy

        I feel the same way about my four legged ‘boys’ 😉 There’s really nothing better than being greeted by wagging tails (even stubby ones), a cold nose & that doggy smile. 🙂

        • poljunkie

          I know!!!

          We’ve been letting the “girlies” sleep on the bed. It started as once a week. Then twice, …Now its just about every night. Its hilarious. The one, Puddi, if we let her, will get between us, and actually try to lay the same as us and even put her head on the pillow. Then she looks at us, as if to say…what?

          • That made me laugh since I call my hens girlies 😉

            Speaking of other girls, something tried to get my Miss Jane Deere last night! She hadn’t come in when the sun set as she usually does. I was making dinner and it was dark, then heard her make a ruckus outside. She’s a quiet cat, so this was something. I went out with the flashlight and BBgun (I know- but I’m not quite comfortable shot with the rifle yet) looked around and she was no where to be seen, but I did see eyes glowing in the “back 40”, just for a minute. Then they were gone.
            I called her. Long story short, she came to the door about a half hour later. She had a couple of matted spots (no blood thank God!) on her back. This morning going out to feed the chickens, I saw some of her fur on the ground 🙁 Poor miss Deere!
            But she’s a scrapper!

            • OH wow… She is so lucky! I’m glad she’s ok.

              • me too! I had to laugh though, when I went out this morning. My son put little “evidence” markers around the “crime scene”. And a “Evidanse. Do NOT go beyond this point” sign. I think he watches too much tv. 😉

                • A future police officer or CSI team member in the making! 🙂 Bless him, glad it all turned out okay for you. Now, buy a couple of werewolves and teach them to protect the cats and let them loose outside… Varmints beware!

                • If he’s out there taking photos and is collecting samples then you’ll know for sure. lol

                • lol. He actually did!! ROFL! 😀

                  Welcome to The Right Scoop Sonya!

            • raccoons around?
              I think thats what got my buddy DJ last august.
              they are omnivores.

              • Yes, we’re out in the boonies and have plenty of coons, possums, coyotes etc. I was thinking it could have been a raccoon. The kitteh is usually in at night. I don’t like her out after dark because of all the varmints around.
                Sorry about your DJ. Yes, raccoons love chickens too. Lost 3 of my best laying hens last summer and fall. But we’re 3 less raccoons now too.

                • has been a sad fall/winter. almost 11 years of him watching out for me.
                  the kitten we got 2 yrs ago is SUPER attached to me (really problematically) so I am not alone during the day but still … 🙁
                  I tried to get him to come in, he walked by on deck looking at me then ran after a bug into the woods. last I saw him.
                  tearing up now.

                • I liked your comment because it’s sweet- and I know the feeling. I’m sorry for your loss dmacleo. It’s hard, I know. xoxo hugs friend.

            • poljunkie

              OH NO!!!

              Sounds like she needs some extra heating pad time.

              • She’s actually gone out again.. I just hope she comes in before dark this time! She’s a smart kitteh, so she knows not to do the same thing twice!

          • Amy

            LOL – both the boys sleep with the remaining people kids we have still living with us. When my youngest daughter leaves, I’m sure she’ll take The Duke with her since he is very attached to her. My youngest son though is heading into the military so taking Dobie with him isn’t an option. I’m sure Dobie will end up sleeping on our bed when that day comes. He would never understand why he couldn’t sleep at our feet if we banished him to the floor. 🙂 He is having a hard enough time trying to figure out why we don’t want jumping up on the back of the couch to see out the window! LOL Edited to add that Dobie is a doberman & weighs about 100lbs now and isn’t done growing yet! My couch is getting a beating 🙂

            • poljunkie

              100 pounds! YIKES! AND we thought Cozmo (Golden) was extra large!


        • colliemum


          It doesn’t matter if one’s been out for five or ten minutes or a couple of hours – their joy of having you back is the same.

          I dread the time when I’m too frail to keep a housewolf: coming back to an empty house is heart-wrenching.

          • poljunkie

            Colliemum, I know you have been a doggie mom for a long time. Any suggestions for me on the two little ones I have. They are about 4 years old. AND they are loves. The BEST.SOOOO sweet and calm.
            BUT when someone rings the doorbell. Oh MY. WATCHOUT. Its like the past 6 months they have developed this barking/aggressive behavior. Its gotten to the point where if the UPS man wants to bring something inside, I usually put them in another room. We’ve been working with them, (by ringing the doorbell) and they dont act so crazed…but then……

            • I know you didn’t ask me, but I’ve a bit of advice of my own. Lately my two dogs would go out during the night. Then for no reason, one of them refused to come “back into bed” again. I ended up using treats to entice him him. Now I’ve use the same “trick” to get him to behave other ways too. This might not work, but it might… Ring the doorbell and immediately identify that sound with getting a treat and give them the treat. Now when someone actually rings the doorbell, try pulling out the treat box or just telling the boys that you have a treat for them. It’s kind of like positive reinforcement or something. Worth a try anyway. I’d be interested to know if it works for you.

              • poljunkie

                Thanks Wolfie. Your advice is most appreciated and welcomed with my doggehs open paws.
                We have to get the barking under control. I figure they should be “allowed” a couple barks when the bell rings or when someone shows up, but then if asked they should quiet down, rather than turning into the tasmanian devil (only barking!!!).

                • Please do let us (Mom and myself anyway) how the training goes. I wish you the best of luck. One last bit of advice. Buy several different kinds of treats and find their favorite. Use that one. I find my furry family like some treats WAY more than others.

                • poljunkie

                  Will do Wolfie. Thank you very much.

            • colliemum

              Wolfie made a very good suggestion, which will work if they’re food-obsessed (like most dogs).
              The thing is – they’re doing what comes naturally, i.e. inform the rest of the ‘pack’ (that’s you) that there’s an unknown danger approaching, so come quickly and do something about it!

              The one other way – which takes some patience, and has to be done every day, regardless – is to try and teach them to shut up on command. That goes hand in hand with teaching them to bark on command!
              So you sit them down, tell them to ‘speak’, and give a treat when they bark. Then you tell them ‘quiet’, and as soon as they stop, it’s treat-into-mouthie time!

              That way you can get them to stop barking at the doorbell, and Wolfie’s advice comes in handy: no barks – a treat!

              Mind – I’ve not done this with the housewolves because, living alone, I value their barking, it tells anybody at the door that there’s an attack housewolf behind that door. Very useful, seeing that I can’t have a gun …

              • Can you have a sword? If not that… a Pitchfork would come in handy… Not to heavy and very pointy! 😉

                PS. Sorry I stepped in on your question, I should have waited. Now I’m in the doghouse. :-/

                • colliemum

                  You’re absolutely not in the doghouse, Wolfie! Also, it’s always so much better to have advice from more people – and anyway, your and my advice dovetail beautifully.

                  I’m taking a rolling pin up to the bedroom – not doing much baking nowadays, and it’s solid wood. Housewolf is in the bedroom with me, so that’s ok.

                  I’ve also got a very bad-ass hoe, small, with a sharp pointy end. It’s in the back of the house, next to the door into the garden. That thing is lethal if it makes contact with a baddie’s skull.

                  For the front – there’s the housewolf. She really dislikes men, and lets them know it. She’d go for an intruder, no problem.

                • Stay Safe Colliemum!

                • If I may jump in- I highly recommend the Kitchen Aid double-headed meat tenderizer. I’ve nicknamed this Thor’s Hammer. Would hate to be on the receiving end of this.

                • colliemum

                  Excellent idea!
                  I’ll get one a.s.a.p. – after all, who can blame me if/when I use a kitchen implement to defend myself, and implement which was just lying about in a drawer …!

              • poljunkie

                Thank you! YES they are food obsessed. Chicken and cheese.
                I’ll try, good quiet= treat!

                • Amy

                  Colliemum’s advice is how we trained The Duke. Now he won’t bark unless we tell him to – or you step onto our property… He’s a lazy, lazy doggie. For awhile the pup was following The Duke’s lead, but now he’s gotten to where he’s a noisy pup so we’ll start using the treats and the speak commands. We use ‘speak’ when we want the barking and ‘no bark’ in a sharp voice when we wanted quiet. Of course, treats ALWAYS help. 🙂

      • colliemum

        Too right!

  • mikeinidaho

    My bet is that the faceless, nameless, idiot “official” never served in the military and probably has a cat, but no dogs. If I lived closer, I’d get soem buddies together, march into the cemetary, dig a grave and bury the veteran dog with honors. And I’d dare anyone to try to stop us. That idiot is a shameless moron.

  • Thank you SO MUCH for posting this story Scoop! You are the BEST! I know how much you care for the Furry family.

  • deeme

    Lets see these kind of things can’t surprise any of U.S. bibles gone, they want God gone, they want all crosses gone ,we have been taken over by people who are taking our guns away , shrinking our military..destroyed NASA….are friends with terrorists who tried to blow up the Pentagon…..and now are gifting Planes that can shoot one hundred rounds a minute to people who want U.S. ,after they are done with Israel..And you are surprised they are going after man’s Best Friend./

  • Conniption Fitz


    However, in Obama/Panetta military, it might set a DANGEROUS precedent.

    Who knows what/who they might decide should have the RIGHT to be buried there.

    Two other points come to mind:
    – Obama eats’em, doesn’t honor them.
    – Muslims do not like dogs (or pigs).

  • They gov’ment made sure UBL got a “Muslim approved funeral” and this dog, who is worth a thousand times that UBL POS gets denied a honorable funeral. This is SO messed up!

    • poljunkie

      Wow are you right!

  • I lie belly-up
    In the sunshine, happier than
    You ever will be.

    Today I sniffed
    Many dog butts—I celebrate
    By kissing your face.

    I sound the alarm!
    Paperboy—come to kill us all —
    Look! Look! Look! Look! Look!

    I sound the alarm!
    Garbage man—come to kill us all —
    Look! Look! Look! Look! Look!

    I lift my leg and
    Whiz on each bush. Hello, Spot—
    Sniff this and weep.

    I Hate my choke chain—
    Look, world, they strangle me! Ack
    Ack Ack Ack Ack Ack!

    Sleeping here, my chin
    On your foot—no greater bliss—well,
    Maybe catching cats.

    Look in my eyes and
    Deny it. No human could
    Love you as much I do.


    • poljunkie

      No truer words.

      Except no choke chains here.


      • Same here, I almost didn’t post it because of that, but the rest was worth it I think.

      • Patriot077

        I hated it when my Butchie got bigger than me because I finally had to resort to using one. (Never a studded one!) If I wasn’t paying attention during our walks and he saw some critter, he would pull me off my feet and drag me all over creation … I know that I didn’t train him to obey commands well but fortunately the choke feature wasn’t put into operation very often because I tried to stay on high alert.

        He was a great lovable mutt we nicknamed Butchie Bushwhacker because his tail was a great fringed affair that he wagged so vigorously it would hurt the bare leg! It swept many a coffee table clean too 🙂

        Like Colliemum’s Puddi, he liked to sleep with my son and in the morning after my son was off to school, I would find him stretched out on my son’s bed with his head on the pillow. Good memories. We both enjoyed the afternoon naps I shared with him on that bed too 🙂

        • poljunkie

          I love the coffee table story!

          When our Golden was a puppy we hired a trainer that suggested using the citronella collar for barking. The citronella collar blasts the dog with a spray of orange when they bark.
          We objected to the collar but finally we gave in and tried it once. It has pretty funny…Our dog would actually bark, and then take a min to savor the smell of orange, as if to say—what a delightful smell….bright and cheeful orange!!! Like a breath of sunshine!

          By the way Patriot…..Puddi is one of my dogs, and she is a total BED HOG. 🙂

          • Patriot077

            Cute story about the citrusy dog collar. I’m sure Butch would have tried to eat it! I once heard something bouncing (kind of hard) on the stairs and saw he had found himself an onion to play with.

            Sorry poljunkie for the mixup on your Puddi puppy! I don’t mind those furry bedhogs at all – my husband didn’t quite get that and refused to allow them in our bed.

            • poljunkie

              Thanks Patriot, you’re a gem. ooof, an onion! HA

              Where’s he sleeping now? Your husband that is? hahahahah-

              just kidding.- I like the puppehs sleeping on the bed, as long as there isnt a ton of dog hair everywhere. AND as long as the place doesnt smell doggie. So they get bathed alot, and our blankets get washed a lot more frequently than when the dogs slept in their crate.
              Its funny, I just took the two little ones out, and its been raining most of the day , and night—The way the littliest one was walking around…it reminded me of tmy sons “poopy” diaper walk” sooo many years ago. Only she does it because she doesnt like her little paws getting wet.

              Have a great week starting tomorrow.

    • Constance

      Thanks for posting this. It actually brought a couple of tears to my eyes, because it so perfectly describes our best furry friends. I’ll hug my dogs a bit tighter today.

      • I hear they prefer treats! 😉 My furry people forced me to say that! 😉

    • My 4 furry kids say you are smart! And have exceptional tastes in your posts!

    • colliemum

      That’s lovely – and so true (except for the choke chain), in every instance!

      I could tell reams of stories about the First and Best housewolf (the one in my av) – but that poem simply says it all anyway.

      Thanks, Wolfie!

  • I believe the animal should be allowed to BUT….
    seems to me this could turn into a quagmire. they make ruling granting exception for military service animals then lawsuits start over people wanting their handicap service animals buried there too.
    cause you know people hate giving vets special treatment.
    then once that happens people will be pushing to have animals that were willed property the same right.
    then it slides to anyone wanting to intern any pet there/anywhere.

    I just don’t know.
    this whole thing is sad.

    • cabensg

      That’s why I suggest a separate but beautiful cemetery of their own. You could have all the information about how the dog had served and it’s handlers name, etc. I’d be willing to bet there would be dogs long buried from other wars that would be moved there to show their service to our country.

      • this could work if done right.

  • Why not create a separate cemetery for dogs of service?

  • Arrrggghhh

    I saw a documentary last year called “War Dogs of the Pacific” that was excellent. If I remember correctly, Savage mentioned it on his program. I highly recommend it. Unfortunately, since Netflix is run by liberals/communists, it’s not available there. I found it in my local library system.

    Related, I’ve noticed that Netflix has a wide range of movies dedicated to the gay & lesbian “community.” In fact, they have an entire category for them. Finding a Christmas movie isn’t nearly as easy.

    • poljunkie

      I’ve noticed the same problem on Netflix.

  • cabensg

    There’s a perfect solution to this, a National cemetery for veteran war dogs. They could be honored and buried in what looks exactly like the National cemetery for soldiers. I think it would be a beautiful tribute to their sacrifices,courage and loyalty without trying to fit them into the soldiers cemetery.

  • Sober_Thinking

    Lol… that makes about as much sense as anything else that comes out of the dark corners of liberals minds.

    Do the right thing folks… honor our fallen service members… no matter what. This isn’t hard…

  • 1endtimes2020

    It would be a tribute to soldier dogs to have a special cemetary of their own, with photos, missions, owners/trainers and biography. Statues would be a great addition.

  • 911Infidel

    They erected a statue to Cher Ami – a carrier pigeon in WWI, but they couldn’t give similar cred to a hero dog?

    • 911Infidel

      I’ll answer my own question. The problem (oh and thanks for the info Blackfive) is that:

      …all national cemeteries are guided by federal law and there are no provisions for the burial of animals. They cited the federal law from 1973 — the National Cemetery Act. The law reads burial of animals is not permitted. That includes canines who served the U.S. in combat.

      • Thanks for the question/answer. What a shame.

        • 911Infidel

          I wondered about it myself. Blackfive as usual had the answer.

          • I’ve not heard of Blackfive before. I just had a quick look and it looks interesting, I’m going to look some more. Thanks.

      • Amy

        Just read on Blackfive though that there is a military dog cemetary in Lyon, Michigan – so perhaps they could lay the pup to rest there.

        • 911Infidel

          An excellent solution.

  • The environment must be protected because human beings need for it to be clean and healthy. I don’t believe an industry, or even one factory, should be shut down in order to save a snail-darter or a horned owl because they are just animals. Torturing animals is sick of course, but I don’t see any problem with eating them. However, I can’t imagine being able to bring myself to eat a pet, even if I was starving.
    I don’t think animals should be elevated to the stature of people. Especially in today’s culture, since we have some who think animals are actually more important than people.

    • tinlizzieowner

      This isn’t ‘a dog’, it’s an Army Sgt.

  • tinlizzieowner

    “But the cemetery official denied Etlinger’s request. She said an official told her a canine burial is not allowed.”

    This isn’t a ‘dog’ it’s an Army Sgt. Make an exception.

  • montereyyjack

    Mina is more then a canine or dog, Mina is a soldier. An American soldier that risked its life for 9 tours! It deserves to be laid to rest among those who would appreciate and love her company for eternity.

  • humptydumpty

    Dogs are one of the finest creations God made for man! No wonder they are called man’s best friend! We always hear about stories about dogs saving human lives looking for people in wreckage as in the World Trade Center on 9/11. We hear about their heroic actions in WWII, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan saving the lives of our soldiers.

    If these four legged heros aren’t fit to be buried where other fighting men and women are? Then no politician who didn’t serve in the Military should be buried there either!

  • I like the idea of a special cemetery just for hero canines, especially one that is highly decorated as Mina. It is inconsistant of the military to promote a dog to sergeant, only to throw him away as equipment.

  • gajaw999

    Dogs are beautiful with their tails wagging, excited to see us, they can be trained to do remarkable things, and no problem giving them their own cemetery. However, they should not be raised to the level of heroes– we throw that term around too loosely. God made men and women self-aware, with a free moral will to choose. When a soldier throws himself on a grenade to save his brothers-in-arms, he knows the choice he is making, the fact that he is leaving behind family and loved ones for a greater cause. I’m sorry, but a dog can’t do that, much as we love them. They can be trained to sniff out bombs, but it is for a treat or for a pat on the head and a “good boy” from his master, the lead dog in his eyes. Don’t denigrate the sacrifice of true heroes by equating what a dog does with what a man does in laying down his life.

  • Mina served more dutifuly and retired as a millitary sargent. it seems he is much more deserving than some of the non millitary people allowed to be buried in federal cemetaries. Have a section for the hero caines.

  • I really don’t see what the problem is. The dog could be cremated & would take up very little space. He was a member of the military and after that many years of service should be allowed to be buried there.