HomeVoorhees NewsThe Animal Welfare Association of Voorhees helps Marines save dogs

The Animal Welfare Association of Voorhees helps Marines save dogs

The Animal Welfare Association stepped up Semper Fi style to help local US Marines and military rescue dogs from the Black Sea area.

Here is the story relayed by a deployed Marine to his wife, Kristina Debrick. Kristina contacted the AWA for help and medical support.

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Four Marines came across a mother dog and her litter of puppies outside of their base. One of the dogs decided to walk to the other side of the street when it was hit by a car. The car did not even bother to slow down. They learned the country’s government pays citizens for every dog or cat ear they bring in from a killing. The inhumane methods used are poison, death by moving vehicle impact, beatings, or electrocution. After seeing and hearing about the horrors roaming dogs face in this country where they are stationed, they joined forces with other military personnel and decided to save the mom and puppies.

They began giving the dogs attention in order to gain their trust. The men fed them and played with them, all the while teaching them basic commands. They became emotionally attached to the little stray mother and her pups, as the pack hung around outside the Marines barracks night after night. The mom and pups were always waiting for the men and followed them everywhere around the base. The dogs soon became the troops little mascots. They contacted the rescue group, RAR, which was willing to transport the mother and pups to Holland for adoption.

Saving the lives of the dogs was suddenly put into high gear when the men found out by happenstance, dog catchers were coming within the week. Knowing the awaiting fate of the mom and pups, our troops tried to reason with the catchers. As they all spoke, the back doors of the van were wide open, revealing the shaking mommy in a cage. She looked at them with terrified eyes. Even the calm touch of one of the Marines through the cage did not sooth her and the frightened pups.

The dogs were taken by the catchers with arrangements to meet the Marines a few miles away from base and release the dogs back to them. As the Marines stood in the parking lot waving at the catchers, the van kept driving. After several hours, the Marines finally found the facility where their canine friends were being held. The facility would not release the dogs unless the men paid a large sum of money. After paying, the facility still would not release the dogs until 10–15 days after surgery. For two weeks the group of troops called every day to check on the mom and pups. Family and friends rallied around the troops, sending donations.

After working on a transfer plan and waiting over a month, the dogs landed safely in JFK Airport on Aug. 10. On Aug. 15 the Animal Welfare Association Clinic helped eight dogs receive medical care and spay/neuter services. One of the puppy’s legs was harmed after being caught by the dog catchers and may need to be amputated by skilled AWA Veterinarian, Dr. David Zelnick. The saved dogs all will be reunited with their military heroes in late September. For now, the mom and puppies are getting the help and care they need while they wait to join their new families. We invite you to come to AWA and see this story unfold.


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