Giving shelter to the dogs of the deployed
Some take their dogs with them; some get family members to help out; some, unfortunately, have to surrender them.
But in Pennsylvania, there’s an ex-Marine lending a helping hand.
Kevin McCartin, who operates Paw Prints Dog Sanctuary & Canine Corps in Perry County, takes care of dogs for free for members of the military from Pennsylvania, no matter how long they’re away. Since establishing the service in 2007, McCartin has witnessed some 90 dog-owner reunions.
And he can assure you that dogs, when it comes to their owners, never forget.
Last weekend, Matthew Chapman and his wife, Debbi, returned from South Korea, where military orders sent them last February. When they reunited with their dog Dehlila, a four-year-old mixed breed, it was as if they’d been apart just a few days, as opposed to 13 months, the Harrisburg Patriot-News reported.
“She went right at them and went ballistic,” McCartin said. “She was all over them. We’ve had dogs up to 15 months, and it’s the same thing every time. The dogs go bonkers.”
While it’s heartwarming to watch, McCartin says he can’t help but feel a little upstaged when the owners come back.
Suddenly, he says, “We’re chopped liver. The dogs want to get right into the car and go home.”
The Chapmans headed for Georgia after picking up Dehlila, where they will be based at Fort Stewart for a while.
The Canine Corps website says it accepts donations, food, medication, cleaning products and other supplies. McCartin also takes in geriatric dogs from central Pennsylvania as part of his Paw Prints Dog Sanctuary.
“We are currently caring for six geriatric and special needs dogs and eleven military pets. Thirty-nine of our guests have been adopted into loving homes, and we have reunited 61 guests with their military owners,” the website says.
(Photo: Matthew Chapman and Dehlila, when he dropped her off at Canine Corps and Paw Prints Dog Sanctuary; by Joe Hermitt / Harrisburg Patriot-News)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 30th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, armed forced, boarding, boards, canine corps, cares, dehlila, deployed, deployments, dogs, elderly, geriatric, kennel, kevin mccartin, members, military, paw prints sanctuary, pennsylvania, perry county, pets, reunions, service