We’ve all heard many stories about military dogs. Some don’t survive war. Some can’t bear to leave their soldier’s side, even after that soldier is gone. Others leave war injured or traumatized. Others are reunited with their soldiers when he returns home.
For 12 military dogs stationed overseas, the plan was for them to return to the U.S. where they would be trained and then live as therapy dogs, American Kennel Club reports. Unfortunately, that job never came to fruition and the dogs remained in Chester, Virginia, where they were being housed temporarily in a kennel.
They were supposed to be at the kennel for six to eight weeks, beginning in February of 2014. The dogs have now been there for 17 months. Caring for these dogs for the extended period of time has cost the kennel owner, Greg Meredith, upwards of $150,000. Some arrived emaciated, some suffered from PTSD; they needed medication and one needed surgery. All needed help, and that help cost Meredith thousands of dollars.
“All in all, it’s been financially devastating for us,” Meredith told AKC, “but it’s been well worth it to see the good that’s coming to these dogs.”
That good came in the form of the United States War Dog Association and Mission K9 Rescue. As of July 27, 2015, they have taken the dogs and are looking to reunite them with their soldiers. If the soldiers cannot be located, the dogs will be rehomed.
“This guy has lost everything taking care of these dogs,” Mission K-9 Rescue cofounder Bob Bryant told AKC. “I’m amazed at how energetic, friendly and happy they are. These dogs have been emotionally nourished and cared for.”
“The dogs are in really great shape,” Mission K-9 Rescue cofounder Kristen Maurer added. “This kennel owner could have just abandoned them, but he exercised them and kept them mentally stimulated. The dogs really love him.”
A Go Fund Me account has been established to help Meredith recover the costs of caring for the dogs. For more information or to contribute, visit the Go Fund Me page.