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The Puppy Rescue Mission

The Puppy Rescue Mission assists our brave soldiers and the dogs they have met and fallen in love with while serving in Afghanistan, via vetting and assisting with transporting the canine companion back to the United States. These dogs are those saved from war-infiltrated areas that were lucky enough to form an unbreakable bond with their soldier. The military men and women want so badly to bring their faithful friend home, but the expense of transporting them safely to the U.S. often proves difficult. This is where The Puppy Rescue Mission comes in. Their primary goal is to provide assistance to bring home the companions of our soldiers serving in war zones.

The Puppy Rescue Mission (TPRM) was created in April 2010 by Northern Maine native, Anna Cannan, who is also their President. TPRM was founded after Anna’s fiancé Chris, who was stationed in Afghanistan, had an incident with a suicide bomber that came into his camp during the middle of the night. Several dogs on base were startled and immediately started barking and chased the terrorist, who was then startled and prematurely ignited his bomb before ever making it to the soldiers sleeping quarters. More than 50 human lives were saved, with only a few receiving injuries from the blast. Unfortunately, one courageous dog named Sasha lost her life to save so many of our U.S. soldiers. Sasha was laid to rest as a true hero at the very same post she defended.

TPRM1A bond quickly formed between the soldiers and the dogs at the base and soon everyone began to worry about what would happen to these animals once they left. Soldiers in Afghanistan tell us that animals in Afghanistan are treated like trash, used for target practice, blown up, run over and used in fights. Anna and the troops couldn’t bear the thought of leaving them there defenseless and to fend for themselves. For this reason, The Puppy Rescue Mission was created. Anna states, “No soldier should ever be faced with the decision of leaving a beloved animal in Afghanistan. If there is a way to get the animal back to the soldier’s home the mission of TPRM simply has to continue.”

While Anna, along with her board members and numerous volunteers, know there is an abundance of homeless animals in the United States who need homes, they want people to understand their passion behind bringing the third-world pups to the States. “It’s important to realize that these aren’t just stray dogs, these are soldiers’ dogs, man’s best friend. The least we can do is help them bring their companions home after all they do for our country.”

The compassionate men and women in our U.S. military who seek assistance from TPRM not only help the dogs, but the favor is returned tenfold by their faithful companions who provide the soldiers with comfort and the ability to feel like the world is okay. Dogs seem to have the ability to help us relax whenever we’re in their presence. Somehow everything seems to feel right when we get to spend time with our loving companions. Even though a soldier’s daily routine is so different than ours, they get the same warm feeling as we all do when their dog is waiting for them at the end of the day. Imagine being in another country where nothing looks, smells, or feels familiar. Add a warm, furry, tail-wagging friend to that situation and there instantly is a sense of home, calm, and familiarity.

TPRM2The dogs, which can range from days to years old, are often found living in terrifying situations with gunfire raining over their heads. We’ve all watched news videos showing the hostile situations humans must live through in war-torn countries and most of those areas have animals living in them that we do not see; but our soldiers certainly see them. While our war heroes save many lives on top of protecting each other and defending our freedom, they also see the animals who need help.

Transportation costs to move a soldier’s pet safely to the United States are extremely high due to the great distance involved and the many steps required. Unfortunately, in February of 2011, costs to transport just one adult dog from Afghanistan totaled four thousand dollars! Buying kennels, vetting the animals, spaying and neutering, boarding at the various stops as well as the many flights needed, all makes the cost rise quickly. The soldiers pay a portion and TPRM raises money through fundraising events and donations to pay for the rest.

To help The Puppy Rescue Mission save and transport even more deserving pets who are currently helping their solider guardians protect our country, please visit their website at www.thepuppyrescuemission.org. This non-profit will continue to exist until every last soldier and his dog has arrived home safely. The people behind this fantastic organization believe that “Returning from a mission to be greeted by warm fuzzy kisses can heal the deepest wounds.” This is something that all dog lovers understand.

We should not let the bond between a soldier and his/her dog be broken after everything they’ve done for each other and for us. No one wants to see a loved one sent into a place of despair and combat, how could we ask our troops to leave their furry friend in one? Please join LIFE+DOG in supporting this worthy cause by sending monetary donations, telling your friends and your networks, and joining The Puppy Rescue Mission’s network online.

—Kate Smargiasso

Be Passionate. Be Proactive. Spay + Neuter.

The Puppy Rescue Mission received the most reader nominations in our 2011 In The Community reader nominations poll. Through July 15, you can nominate your favorite animal welfare group during the 2012 nominations.

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