SAN ANTONIO - At a hospital in San Antonio, military members prepare and recover from deployment.

But these service members aren’t human – they’re dogs.

The Military Working Dog Hospital at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland is “the Defense Department’s premier facility for veterinary care.”

In addition to vaccinations and checkups, the facility offers surgery and rehabilitation to military dogs.

On average, the staff of 55 military and civilian employees perform 2,000 operations, 1,000 dental procedures, and 11,000 medical visits each year.

“If you ask any of the staff, they’re committed to the dog mission, and they’re committed to doing their best to produce the healthiest working dogs that they can,” said Col. Cheryl Sofaly, the hospital’s director.

The hospital is an essential part of the training and breeding programs at the base.

Each year, around 300 military dogs deploy from San Antonio and 100 puppies are born. The dogs are fostered in the community before returning to the base at seven months for an intensive training program.