Rescued Dog on Standby in Desert Overseas, Waiting for Devastated U.S. Soldier to Bring Her Home

Photo courtesy of Paws of War


Photo courtesy of Paws of War

The bond pets have with those they share their life with is unmistakable. Just as humans mourn losing their pet, so does a dog left behind. One dog currently sits in the desert sand overseas, waiting for the U.S. Army soldier to come back and rescue her. Neither of them will have peace of mind until they can be brought back together, and the dog can live out her life in the U.S. with Army Specialist Stephan, who rescued and bonded with the dog.

“Safawi is one of us now, and we can’t bear the thought of leaving her alone,” says Army Specialist Stephan. “Talk of the camp is all about what will happen to her, and we all wondered if it would even be possible to save her.”

Spc. Stephan is heartbroken as she waits to hopefully be reunited with the dog she named Safawi, which means freedom-loving and free-spirited. She first encountered the homeless and neglected dog while on patrol overseas. The dog was pregnant, malnourished, and in bad shape. She started showing the dog some attention and found that she returned to the same spot each day, knowing Spc. Stephan would show up and show her some attention.

One day it was obvious that she had delivered her puppies overnight, but they were nowhere to be found. Spc. Stephan continued bonding with Safawi, and she began moving closer to the base, where she could also be around other soldiers. Everyone loved giving her attention, and she loved giving it back. She felt cared for and safe for the first time in her life.

Then the orders came that Spc. Stephan’s deployment was over, and she would be heading home. While it was great news, she was heartbroken at the thought of leaving her furry friend behind. The military has no protocol for transporting rescued pets back to the U.S. with the soldiers who have rescued them, so Spc. Stephan reached out to Paws of War, hoping the organization could help. They are now on a mission to help relocate Safawi to the U.S., where she will live the rest of her life in a loving home with Spc. Stephan.

“It’s a heartbreaking situation to know that dog is sitting there daily, waiting for her to return,” says Derek Cartwright, a veteran and the coordinator for Paws of War. “We want to reunite the two, and we can do it with the help of others. Each time we pull off a rescue like this, it’s a community effort.”

Paws of War routinely helps soldiers to relocate pets they have rescued and bonded with during deployment. It is a costly endeavor that includes paying for healthcare and relocation expenses. They can only do these missions with the support of the community. To donate to support the relocation of Safawi, visit the site at:

Paws of War has been operating worldwide since 2014, helping the military save the animals they rescue while deployed overseas. They have helped veterans with numerous issues, including suicide prevention, service, and support dogs, companion cats, and dogs, food insecurity, veterinary care, etc. Paws of War has a large loyal following of supporters and looks forward to working with new corporate sponsors to support these life-saving programs. To donate, visit its site at:

Photo courtesy of Paws of War
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