480: Animal Sacrifice

480: Animal Sacrifice

Nov 30, 2012
What animals sacrifice for us, and what we sacrifice for them. Including a story from Susan Orlean about dogs in World War II, and the This American Life staff confronts Ira about his dog, Piney.

Photo: Dog wearing suicide bomb vest, 1943.
  • Susan Orlean tells us about the moment America asked untrained household canines to make the ultimate sacrifice: to serve in World War II. Susan talks to Gina Snyder, who remembers being a teenager when her dog Tommy joined the service. And Susan digs into the national archives to learn the fate of other dogs that fought on the front lines. A version of this story appears in Susan’s book Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend. (20 minutes)

    Web extra: here is a military dog use training video, and here is a War Department Film Bulletin, called "Use of War Dogs." (No sound on that second one.)

    Photos and documents from this story:AnimalsMilestonesWar

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Dog wearing suicide bomb vest, 1943.

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