Throughout history, animals working with humans have played important roles in human warfare.
The author of Dogs at War (2017) broadens her look at the use of animals in war by introducing other species—elephants, horses, mules, camels, pigeons, and marine mammals—as well as animal mascots, experimental subjects, and 21st-century considerations of animal rights. Teen readers may particularly enjoy the specific stories, but they might learn something of world history in the process. Goldsmith (Pandemic, 2018, etc.) opens with the example of Judy, a dog who rescued drowning British POWs and stayed with one in prison camp until the end of World War II. Like many of the animals introduced, Judy won Britain’s Dickin Medal for animal heroism. In chapters generally focused on specific species, she discusses the roles animals played historically as well as today and mentions current use of bomb-sniffing rats and drone-attacking eagles. Quotations from handlers attest to the animals’ strong connections with humans and their importance in these roles. Each spread includes a well-captioned photograph and plentiful section heads to break up the text. Occasionally, specific examples are set off on a differently designed page. Extensive backmatter includes suggestions for further exploration of the topic in varied formats.
A solid choice for school and public libraries, with special appeal for animal lovers. (source notes, glossary, selected bibliography, further information, index) (Nonfiction. 12-16)