Silox is not a service dog. He is a five-year-old explosive detection K-9 owned by government contractor, Inter-Con Security Systems. For the past three-and-a-half years, Silox has lived with his handler, Bobby Kling, a disabled veteran of the United States Marine Corps.
In that time, Kling has seen a marked improvement in the PTSD-related anxiety he suffers from.
Upon resigning from his position with Inter-Con, Kling requested to purchase Silox. His request was denied, sparking his latest battle – this one at home on American soil.
Kling served two tours of duty in the Middle East, suffering a traumatic brain injury when an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated next to his convoy in Iraq. He is the recipient of a Purple Heart, a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation medal, two Combat Action ribbons and three Navy Unit Commendation medals.
In response to Kling’s request to retain custody of Silox, Inter-Con stated via email:
“Silox has [a] valuable productive life left as a K9 working with Inter-Con and we are not inclined to sell him. Pairing him with a new handler is more efficient in supporting our current operations.”
Kling refused to give up. He contacted a lawyer, his local congressman, the Department of Veteran affairs, the Department of State, the Purple Heart Foundation and Fox News.
Inter-Con eventually made Kling an offer, agreeing to sell Silox for more than $10,000 – a price the veteran cannot afford and does not believe is fair. Inter-Con told FOX 5 that Silox is healthy, but veterinary records provided by Kling show the dog has suffered from seizures.
“I’m not going to be taken advantage of, which is exactly what they are trying to do,” Kling said.
The company wrote in a statement to FOX 5:
“Inter-Con has provided Mr. Kling the opportunity to purchase Silox at our actual cost, nothing more. Silox is a highly trained, extremely valuable explosive detection dog with many productive years left as an important element of our nation’s effort to prevent terrorism against Americans.”
The former Marine and the defense organization have reached an impasse, with Kling refusing to pay what he feels to be an exorbitant amount and Inter-Con refusing to budge on the price.
What do you make of this situation? Should Kling’s disabled veteran status be taken into account?
H/T and Featured Screenshot via Fox News