Despite the success that European countries had with the dogs used during World War I, the U.S. government had never proceeded with organizing a canine unit for the military. When the country heard the news of what happened at Pearl Harbor, one woman was galvanized to take action.
Alene Stern Erlanger (1894-1969) was a well-respected dog expert and the owner Pillicoc Kennels, specializing in poodle breeding. Erlanger immediately contacted Arthur Kilbon, a writer at the New York Sun who frequently wrote about dogs, saying: “The dog must play a game in this thing. Other countries have used dogs in their Armies for years and ours has not. Just think what dogs can do guarding forts, munition plants, and other such places.”