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Air Force Staff Sgt. Christopher Shady says that Max seems to enjoy the new kennel at Ramstein Air Base, Germany.

Air Force Staff Sgt. Christopher Shady says that Max seems to enjoy the new kennel at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. (Lisa Horn / S&S)

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany — The military working dogs have a fancy new $685,000 doghouse.

The yearlong project involved joining two buildings and turning the old open-air kennel into a well-ventilated facility.

The old kennel had no side walls and there was often not enough space for the number of dogs housed there.

“It was just outdated. We’d outgrown it,” said Tech. Sgt. Michael Howard, 86th Security Forces Squadron kennel master. “We are also the transit location for any dogs going downrange. We get anywhere from 300 to 500 dogs a year that transit through here [that are] either going downrange or going back home.”

The building currently has 19 working dogs and 34 kennels. The kennel floor is water and urine-acid resistant. A trench between the aisles of kennels drains waste out and away from the dogs.

A ventilation system was also installed to bring fresh air continuously into the kennel area.

Also included in the overhaul was the addition of offices, a storage area, meeting room and a bunk room for the dogs’ handlers, made up of airmen from the 568th Security Forces Squadron and the 569th U.S. Forces Police Squadron.

Small improvements, which include the installation of a perimeter fence around the entire compound, will be added in the future, Howard said.

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