Retired disabled military dog Rocky dies if not adopted; UPDATE: Rocky is saved!
Photo: Gloria Hillard/NPR
Pets for Patriots is a small charity, but we were able to mobilize 42,393 people* to save Rocky, a three-tour Iraq war canine veteran (*as of 8:15pm ET 8/18/11).
Your donations are needed to save more pets like Rocky: dogs and cats who will never become an overnight internet sensation or have major news media vying to tell their tale. These “last chance” pets – adult and other at-risk shelter dogs and cats – face near-certain death if not adopted. We connect them to veterans and service members who need a new pet friend, arrange access to reduced cost veterinary care and provide direct financial support towards the purchase of pet food and other basics. Your tax-deductible gift is necessary to help us save the next Rocky and, in so doing, transform the life of the veteran who chose to Be A Pet’s HeroTM.
UPDATE 8/18/11 9:25 AM ET: ROCKY IS SAVED!! We have been informed that Rocky will be adopted. Please DO NOT CALL Camp Pendleton, Lackland AFB or Pets for Patriots regarding his case; we are all overloaded with a deluge of inquiries about his plight. THANK YOU to all who have answered Rocky’s call and helped to assure his final years will be spent with a loving family.
Rocky is a retired military dog who will be put down on August 24 if he’s not adopted. He served three tours in Iraq and desperately needs a loving home to enjoy his final years. Pets for Patriots is responding to a request to help create awareness of this veteran’s plight. We have spoken to authorities at Camp Pendleton in San Diego and confirmed this story.
Rocky currently lives at Camp Pendleton, his home base since entering the Marine Corps in 2004. He served three tours in Iraq between 2004 and 2007 as a patrol and explosives dog, and returned to the states. We had previously noted that his last handler was killed in theater, but have since been advised that is not the case. However, since returning to the U.S., he has not had a steady handler, but has continued to serve on base until March of this year. By that time, a degenerative condition rendered him unable to work and he was retired. Typically an ex-military K9 will be adopted by his handler, but Rocky has no handler to call his own.
The base kennels are not suitable to provide the type of ongoing care and attention that Rocky needs and deserves. And without an individual or family to adopt him, he will be put down. He was recently featured in an article about military dogs enjoying a bright future after service, but that’s not the case for him.
Because Rocky is a retired patrol dog, military protocol does not permit him to be surrendered to a shelter.
Like most military working dogs, Rocky is independent, but he has a sweet temperament and enjoys relaxing in the sun. As a result of his disability, he uses a canine wheelchair and needs assistance to do “his business.” He would do best in a family that can devote a lot of time to him, and that has no small children or other animals. As with many military canines, Rocky shows slight dog aggression. More than anything, Rocky needs someone who honors his service, and who will love and accept him.
Rocky is nine years, nine months old with these known medical conditions:
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia/Enlarged prostate
Mild hip dysplasia L coxofemoral joint, grade I
Bilateral coxofemoral DJD (mild)
Bilateral neurologic defecits rear legs – degenerative myelopathy
P.S.: Our thanks to Military.com for sharing Rocky’s story in a hot rush!
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