Now that’s one happy pup. A retired military dog met up with her former handler in North Carolina recently in a heartwarming airport scene that was captured on video.
In the video, the dog licks her handler’s face, burrows her face into her handler’s chest, and leaps up onto him. She’s apparently thrilled to be reunited with her old friend.
Watch the video here:
Military Dog Reunited with Handler Thanks to Mission K9 Rescue
The dog reunited with her former handler thanks to the efforts of Mission K9 Rescue, a Houston, Texas-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit. The nonprofit works to retire military working dogs, rescue the many dogs that are stuck in poor environments, reunite them with their handlers if the handlers want them – as was the case for the lucky pup above – or re-home them into a loving environment.
Some military working dogs need rehabilitation for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) before they can join a new household. Mission K9 Rescue works to help them recover and rejoin society safely.
Additionally, many military dogs have been worked like professional athletes. As a result, they have costly medical issues that need treatment. The nonprofit tries to treat the dogs’ medical conditions while they are in their care. They cover the dogs’ medical costs until such point as they can meet up with their handler or join a new home.
In 2019, the most recent year for which information is available, the nonprofit retired, reunited or re-homed 156 working dogs, according to Charity Navigator. Mission K9 Rescue claims to have rescued over 1,000 working dogs through the years, per its donation page.
Working Dogs Often Suffer Silently in Poor Conditions
The military dogs are used for sensitive tasks – bomb-sniffing, drug detection, patrolling dangerous areas. But their thanks is often a kennel with little to no exercise and untreated disease. The older dogs are most in need of rescue.
As of right now, according to Mission K9 Rescue, the nonprofit has more than 60 dogs waiting to find a home. The transportation costs to get them out of dangerous places are significant, ranging from $1,500 to above $7,000. And the U.S. military does nothing to provide for the transport or medical care of the dogs who have served it so well.
The veterinary bills are often another matter entirely. The nonprofit covers as much as $60,000 per month in veterinary care for the animals. But what they really need are loving homes.
Luckily for the pup in the video featured above, her handler wanted to reunite with her. Many handlers have agreed to take in their canine companions and provide for their care costs after they are retired. One can only hope more dogs will find such a happy ending.