During the stressful days of war, soldiers sometimes find momentary peace and even joy in dogs, who range from working war dogs to local puppies. Some even bond with stray cats. But until recently, returning to the United States meant bidding farewell to those beloved pets. Now, however, a group of volunteers are transforming lives by responding to that grief with their puppy rescue mission, reported the Macro Insider.
“It really is not just about rescuing the dogs,” reflected Army Cpt. Cassie Wyllie, grateful for the arrival of puppy Penny. “Just about every animal that they bring back helps rescue a piece of that soldier.”
Although they call themselves the Puppy Rescue Mission, the volunteers ship dogs of all ages as well as some cats to the United States, where they reunite animals and soldiers.
How does it work? Meet Garrett Rogers, a Navy officer who fell in love with an Afghan shepherd puppy that he named Anastasia. Weighing only five pounds, she owed her life to him when he helped her heal from an infected cut due to razor wire.
Rogers applauds his pet’s courage.
“She was just an absolute trooper the complete time,” he says proudly.
The Puppy Rescue Mission uses YouTube to share their work and appreciation for the soldiers.
“The Puppy Rescue Mission Family & Friends are in awe of the compassion that our Soldiers, Contractors & various Americans have shown towards the animals in a country that does not value them. The love that bonds between these humans and animals is huge. Help us to get these animals to their forever homes in the USA & Canada. God Bless You & Paw Salute!”
Bringing his puppy home was challenging. But Garrett stated a military motto that expresses how he feels, which calls for leaving no one behind. And for Rogers, that meant getting Anastasia out of Afghanistan.
When he heard about the Puppy Rescue Mission, he was able to find an Afghan animal shelter to help. Rogers turned to the Texas-based volunteer group, however, to assist with the high cost.
The group expresses its views about what it does with their Twitter feed.
“Soldiers saving puppies – Puppies saving soldiers!”
It takes an average of $3,800 per pet due to airline tickets, pet supplies, and veterinary care. The volunteers noted that they are doing their best to respond to soldiers’ requests who want to adopt working dogs or local pets with whom they bonded.
“We’re sort of overwhelmed,” admitted Linda Merkel, a fundraising coordinator from Arlington Heights.
The Puppy Rescue Mission maintains a Facebook page, and it’s overflowing with expressions of gratitude.
Thank you for saving the pups and dogs! My stepson Mason spent some time in Afghanistan last year. Thank you for all that you do!!!!
Merry Christmas from Tigs and Mayhem! Thank you PRM for bringing us home!
For soldiers reunited with their dogs, the emotional welcomes could bring even the Grinch to tears.
The group also uses foster homes in cases where they are able to bring the pet home first. And while in many cases, foster volunteers find it difficult to give up the little puppies that they rescued, one pet parent recently found a solution, as the Inquisitr reported.
When a tiny puppy was abandoned on Christmas Eve a year ago and rescued by Deanna Jarvis, he weighed only one pound and suffered from both hypothermia and an infected broken jaw. Known as the puppy expert at Noah’s Hope Animal Rescue, Deanna nursed the puppy, named Nicolas, back to health.
When he was ready to be adopted, however, Deanna just had one request: that the two reunite regularly. And that’s just what happened, with Nicolas becoming ecstatic each time that he sees his foster mom.
“This is one of those instances where they remember what you did for them and they appreciate that. It means a lot that he remembers me and appreciates what we did.”
[Images Via facebook.com/puppyrescuemission]