Hero Dogs Rescued from Afghanistan
Posted on January 20, 2012 by WayCoolDogs
Palm Beach Post has printed a story on January 3 where Iowa’s 43-year-old Sheila Schaffer, veteran of the Army National Guard, has spent $4,000 to bring a hero dog from Afghanistan to the United States. To many, this is considered squandering. To Sheila, her Charlie is more than worth it.
“People always say, ‘Why are you saving those dogs when there are all these dogs here that need rescue?’ People ask, ‘Have they done anything heroic?’ ”
“And I always get angry. Heroic is not always saving someone from a bomb. Heroic is saving our souls, our spirits.”
A British marine, Pen Farthing, felt the same way. He did not want to leave Nowzad, a dog he had befriended after rescuing him from an organized dog fight. At a New York Humane Society banquet, he met Delray Beach businessman, Arthur Benjamin, founder of American Dog Rescue. “I said I would cover 10 dogs,” Benjamin said. “Then I called some people I know in Dallas. They pulled out all the stops to have a reunion at JFK, the International Airport in New York.”
The reunion between dog and soldiers was heartbreaking, with the article saying, “It was really wonderful. Every one of those soldiers cried, even one that was 280 pounds of muscle. Some of them have been apart a year and they don’t have $4,000 to bring back a dog.”
The American Dog Rescue is working toward the goal of becoming self-sustaining, raising nearly $2.3 million with a matchup program for shelter dogs and seniors in Salt Lake City. Benjamin, who specializes in marketing ideas, talked American Airlines into paying the bill for transporting 14 dogs and a cat, all of whom would be claimed by a soldier returned to the United States.
A few weeks ago, American Dog Rescue and Nowzad Dogs were happy to have American Airlines be a corporate sponsor of our event that reunited soldiers with the dogs or war they cared for while deployed.
Pen Farthing, the British marine, formed Nowzad in 2007—a nonprofit to care for abused dogs, cats and donkeys in Afghanistan. So far, his organization along with American Dog Rescue and numerous benefactors, has reunited approximately 250 dogs with soldiers living in the United States and other allies. Nowzad has built the only animal shelter known in Afghanistan.
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