U.S Army soldiers reunited with puppies they rescued during deployment in Kenya

Published: Dec. 3, 2022 at 6:08 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Sarabi, Recce, Marco, Avery, and Modi – five puppies rescued from Kenya by five local U.S Army National Guard soldiers who were in the same unit.

Six months later, they were reunited with their rescuers, and now owners, thanks to Paws of War.

“It was just surreal, really,” said David Pettit, 11 Bravo Infantryman in the Virginia Army National Guard. “She’s grown a lot, but she has the same personality and the same coloring and everything that she did as a puppy. It was amazing to be able to see her again and see the guys.”

The five soldiers from Roanoke, Lynchburg, Martinsville, and Scottsville, Virginia found the puppies in harsh living conditions while deployed in Africa. They instantly knew they wanted to find a way to save them.

“We didn’t want to leave them behind. So, I reached out to Paws of War and a few other organizations just to see if we could get them back home. Paws of War was actually the only organization that got back to me. So, I got some guys on board and we all got together and made that happen,” added Pettit.

It took a donkey, row boats, locals, and thousands of dollars to get the puppies to the United States.

Robert Misseri, co-founder of Paws of War, says reunions like these make all the “ruff” parts worth it.

“It’s so rewarding to see all five dogs and five soldiers and the smiles on their faces. These dogs would have been, no question in my mind, dead or living a very miserable, suffering life. So, what they did by rescuing them was just another proud moment of being here with them and seeing the reunion,” explained Misseri.

The dogs will now get to spend the rest of their lives with their rescuers – a benefit to both ends of the leash.

“It was very hostile environment, working with the locals, a lot of poor people, and staying away from from my family was tough. So, we’re happy that we got a new little daughter out of the deployment and it was good to deploy with my brothers. I was glad to do that,” said Pettit.

Paws of War provided the soldiers with trainers and a care bag to take home.