Military Working Dogs
I’m so torn between happiness and frustration on this one. I’m elated that both dog and handler were reunited, but I’m so frustrated that the DoD plays games with these dogs by making it so difficult for them to be discharged from the military.
Stories like Sgt Jacob Varela and MWD Atilla (Marine Working Dog Atilla R7-89) happen far too often and it is time for our military to change how they treat working animals, in this case, it was a dog. There was no need for Atilla, or any working dog to die in a shelter, period.
I can’t find any details as to why the Marine Corps was fighting Jacob for the dog. Jacob and Atilla worked side-by-side, day and night for three years. Atilla was a trained tracking dog and Jacob was at his side for three years. When Jacob left the Marine Corps in July 2017 and when he left Atilla went on to do other things until he retired two years later.
The scene in the video took place in June 2019 at Chicago’s Midway International Airport. It was the first time the two had seen each other in two-plus years.
When Jacob heard that his old partner was retired, without hesitation he knew that he had to adopt him. Sadly that isn’t always easy, but Jacob reached out to Mission K-9 Rescue to see if they can help. They jumped in with both feet and not only cut through the miles of red tape, but through donations, they fronted the $1,800 for the transportation and boarding of Atila.
Mission K9 Rescue is a non-profit organization that has reunited over 275 K9/handler teams. If you want to help service members get back in touch with their K-9 partners, then donate or volunteer for Mission K9 Rescue
“It is important to honor and protect all of our military heroes; both two and four-footed,” said Kristen Maurer, president of Mission K9 Rescue, “Military working dogs have been a vital, life-saving part of our armed services and they deserve our support when they can no longer work. We’re honored to make the reunion of Sgt. Varela and MWD Atilla possible.”
Mission K9 Rescue
P.O. Box 395
Needville, TX 77461-0395
EIN 46-4302698 501(c)3 Non-Profit Organization
***NOTE*** I’m in no way associated with Mission K9 Rescue or any of its affiliates.