Paws of War works around the calendar to help military members get their rescued pets to America, where they can be reunited once their deployment ends. For 2024, they are already busy with a list of rescues that will take place this month. They have been working on these missions for six months. Some animals have been in foster but some are still are in danger. Getting an animal moved from the Middle East to America may sound simple, but it’s a task that is time-consuming, costly and takes a lot of planning.
“We are always happy to see our efforts pay off and get the animals reunited with the military members who rescued them,” says Robert Misseri, the co-founder of Paws of War. “It’s an exciting kick-off to this year that we have so many underway with over sixty rescues around the world. We will make numerous military members and their rescued pets overjoyed to be together again.”
To expedite and ensure that all the animals are rescued safely, they are sending one of their team members for the final leg. Niki Dawson will head to the Middle East, bringing three rescued dogs and several cats back to the U.S. with her. They are slated to land at John F. Kennedy International Airport on January 11, 2024.
Paws of War team members will meet Dawson upon arrival to help see the pets through customs and to their facility. Once they arrive at their facility in New York, they will be given a thorough veterinarian and behavioral evaluations. Then, they will be delivered by Paws of War to the homes of the respective military members they bonded with while deployed to the Middle East.
Some of the pets that will make the trek and be reunited include:
- Sergeant John M’s two puppies. Shortly after being deployed last February, he got the sad news that his dog back home had died. The news hit him hard, and then days later, he crossed paths with two puppies with their mother. The puppies stole his heart, and he named them Onyx and Oreo. They cheered him up and gave him something to look forward to daily until he heard his deployment was over. He couldn’t bear to leave them behind in a place that treats dogs harshly, so he reached out to Paws of War for help to get them taken to his home in Memphis.
- A cat named Princess was rescued from Tennessee by an Army Sergeant. She found a sweet kitten she instantly bonded with during her deployment.
- A rescued puppy that an Army Sergeant named Abby. When the puppy was found, she was ill and was taken to a local shelter, where she succumbed to her condition. While visiting her daily as she tried to recover, the Army Sergeant noticed a smaller white dog who took an interest in her. She reached out to Paws of War to recommend the dog make its way to America to become a companion animal to a veteran.
- Specialist Jessie rescued a cat named Melody. When she rescued the cat, she could see that her ears had been burned, and she was mostly deaf. While she started to be afraid of people, the two formed a lasting bond.
“I couldn’t bear the idea of abandoning the one soul in this vast desert that was able to transcend not only a language barrier because that was a common task here, but also to find trust in another species, to bring out my warmth when it was so much easier to give the cold shoulder,” says Specialist Jessie. “She turned my views and attitude around. She helped me find a glimmer of hope and light in all this darkness. I don’t want to leave Melody behind. She has become so much more than just the cat on base. She turned out to be a key piece of my heart.”
Paws of War also focuses on giving back to veterans in various ways. 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 to support their mission, visit its site at: https://pawsofwar.org/?form=January24MERescue
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