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CWD Belle Reunited with Her Marine Handler

Contract Working Dog Belle Reunited with Her Marine Handler

Sergeant Sam Wettstein was separated from his contract working dog Belle after a tour in Afghanistan. Not a day went by that Sergeant Wettstein did not think of Belle and when she was discharged early he was ready to bring her home.

Belle and Sergeant Wettstein spent numerous hours on missions that saved the lives of many Marines and service members. “I was at loss of words when I found out there was a chance to be reconnected with Belle,” said Wettstein. “I can’t explain the bond that you forge with your dog, your partner. It’s unlike any experience I have ever had.”

Wettstein and Belle were reunited at the San Diego International Airport.

Mission K9 Rescue through the generous donations of others and in collaboration with the American Humane Association, arranged the reunion in San Diego on August 1st, 2014.

There is no doubt that CWD Belle remembered her marine! They look forward to a long life that includes duck hunting.

Thanks to all who donated to make this reunion possible!

Sam and Jessica Wettstein, Contract Working Dog Belle, and Kristen Maurer, Mission K9 Rescue Co Founder and President.

Mission K9 Rescue is a team of dedicated individuals and is funded solely through the monetary support of individuals that share our passion and respect for Contract Working Dogs.

Mission K9 Rescue is a nonprofit organization focused on bringing contract working dogs and military working dogs back to the United States from combat abroad as well as stateside, and reuniting the dogs with their former handlers whenever possible.

Your support is deeply appreciated and is paramount to our ability to “Lend a Hand to the Paws that Serve”.

Donate here

You can donate via Paypal to MissionK9Rescue@gmail.com

If you prefer to mail a check,please use this address for donations by mail:

Mission K9 Rescue
P.O. Box 395
Needville, TX 77461-0395

713-589-9362

EIN 46-4302698 501(c)3 Non-Profit Organization

Mariah and Her Marine – Reunited

Contract Working Dog Mariah Reunited with Her Marine Handler

Sergeant Omar Peña who served in the Marine Corps and in Afghanistan recently reunited with his CWD, Mariah. He and his contract working dog trained together in the US prior to his deployment in Afghanistan. Contract working dogs like Mariah are a specialized improvised detection dog who detect explosives in military zones.

“We had a lot of firefights, a lot of IED’s, and she kept us safe. I want to say I wouldn’t have come back if it weren’t for her. She kept me alive; she kept my fellow marine brothers alive, physically and mentally. There were some down moments and she would come play with us. She knew when we needed her mentally,” said Peña.

Sergent Peña adopted Mariah when she retired from service. After 4 long years apart Omar reunited with Mariah at the El Paso International Airport, and as he waited at the airport, he wondered if she would remember him.

We at Mission K9 Resuce wish Mariah, Omar, and his family a wonderful time together for many years. We also want to thank the American Humane Association for their assistance with another adoption of our contract working dogs.

Thanks to all who donated to make this reunion possible!

Mission K9 Rescue is a team of volunteers and is funded solely through the monetary support of individuals that share our passion and respect for contract working dogs, military working dogs, and K9.

Your support is deeply appreciated and is paramount to our ability to “Lend a Hand to the Paws that Serve”.

Donate here

You can donate via Paypal to MissionK9Rescue@gmail.com

If you prefer to mail a check, please use this address for donations by mail:

Mission K9 Rescue
P.O. Box 395
Needville, TX 77461-0395

713-589-9362

EIN 46-4302698 501(c)3 Non-Profit Organization

Military Working Dog and Contract Working Dog Adoptions

Heroes are waiting for Forever Homes!

Thanks for considering a Military Working Dog or Contract Working Dog Adoption. All these dogs are heroes in their own right and deserve a loving retirement home and continued care.  You are embarking on a wonderful and rewarding relationship.

The process for adopting Contract Working Dogs or Military Working Dogs that have been previously adopted and need a new home can be found here: 

https://missionk9.wpenginepowered.com/working-dog-adoption-forms/

We cannot guarantee the availability of any particular dog, breed, or designated service origin.

MWD’s are adopted via the Lackland Air Force Base Military Working Dog Program.

Military Working Dogs may be adopted by the public.

MissionK9Rescue at times has Military Working Dogs that were retired, adopted, and for whatever reason have to be re-homed. No longer a government asset at this time, we do facilitate those adoptions.

MissionK9Rescue assists with transportation of retired Military Working Dogs and Contract Working Dogs from foreign kennels or stateside when requested by The US War Dogs Association of which Mission K9 Rescue is Chapter 6, Rescue Organizations we partner with, or via direct request from a former handler.

Handlers do not pay for transport when they contact MissionK9Rescue for assistance in adopting a dog they actually served with.

If you want to adopt a hero dog, please take a moment, follow the link for the working dog adoption form link above.

Once a dog is available that is suitable for your environment, we will reach out with more details.

Thank you for your interest in adopting a Working Dog! (Edited for Clarity 09/24/2014)

Your support is deeply appreciated and is paramount to our ability to “Lend a Hand to the Paws that Serve”.

Donate here

You can donate via Paypal to MissionK9Rescue@gmail.com

If you prefer to mail a check, please use this address for donations by mail:

Mission K9 Rescue
P.O. Box 395
Needville, TX 77461-0395

713-589-9362

EIN 46-4302698 501(c)3 Non-Profit Organization

Mission K9 Rescue has no relationship or connection to the United States Government.

No More Bombs, No More War, War Dog Ivy is Home!

Combat Working War Dog Ivy is home!

Smiles all around as US Marine Steve Heath greets CWD War Dog Ivy, his partner in Afghanistan who saved him and other Marines multiple times with her expert bomb sniffing nose.

The following is a reprint of the article that first appeared in the Houston Chronicle:

By Claudia Feldman

For a moment, Ivy the black Lab looked confused. She’d never been to Hobby Airport before, and it seemed as if strangers were surging toward her.

One of them, Stephen Heath, knelt down in front of her. He patted her head, he scratched her ears, he talked to her in a voice only she could hear.

And then, it was as if Ivy knew. Heath, her U.S. Marine handler in Afghanistan in 2010, was going to take care of her forever.

The former sergeant straightened and took the newly retired bomb dog’s leash. Within two minutes, they were playing ball and marching toward the exit, in step, in rhythm.

No more bombs, no more war, no more separations, ever.

Tuesday night, Heath took Ivy home, something he’d waited years to do.

When he finished his enlistment in 2011, he’d had to say goodbye to Ivy, who still had three years to serve. Heath contacted the Marine who would be Ivy’s new partner, telling him what a smart and skilled dog she was.

He also told everybody who would listen: When Ivy retired, he wanted to adopt her.

The call came in January, just as he stepped out of a class at Texas A&M University.

Ivy was 7 and her military career was over. Did he still want her?

The only hitch, Heath would find out in a follow-up email, was a $700 bill – the cost to transport Ivy from the East Coast to Houston. Heath knew he’d come up with the money, but he didn’t know how easy it would be. Mission K9 Rescue, a nonprofit group, took over the fundraising. The deal was sealed in less than 24 hours.

Kristen Maurer of Mission K9 accompanied Ivy to Houston. She’s facilitated dozens of these reunions, and each one makes her cry.

“The dogs don’t forget their handlers,” Maurer said, “even when they’ve been separated for years.”

Heath, she added, is such a nice young man. She hugged him and then hugged Lauren Miller, Heath’s fiancee.

“Ah,” she said, “Ivy’s new mom.”

‘We were like family’

Heath, 25, grew up in Katy. He planned to go to college, but he wanted to serve his country first. Uncles and cousins had served in the Army; he chose the Marines.

He left for boot camp in 2006 and deployed to Japan in 2008. During his five-year stint, he spent much of his time training younger infantrymen. When he got the chance to work with bomb dogs, he jumped at it.

Heath still laughs when he remembers the day he was paired with Ivy. He had his eye on much bigger, male dogs. “Ivy,” he said, “was the smallest dog – and a girl!”

The Marine quickly came to appreciate all that Ivy could do. During their seven months in the southern Helmand Province, she found four roadside bombs, three of them activated.

Without Ivy, Heath said, those bombs might have exploded and caused catastrophic injures.

“She was my companion, my best friend, and she protected me, too,” he said.

Mostly they worked, Heath said, trudging through mile after mile of desert in search of bombs. But he and Ivy also ate together, slept together, and even watched movies together.

“We were like family.”

Heath’s best human friends were other dog handlers. When they were able to relax together, they bragged on their animals as if they were their children.

Marines forever

After the reunion, Heath and Miller had simple plans. They were going to get some fast food take-out, and relax at home. But then, Heath and his war dog Ivy had to drive to College Station.

Heath’s anxious to finish A&M in 2015 and begin a career in finance. He’s very much looking forward to his marriage to Miller – they’re planning a July wedding and a honeymoon in Costa Rica.

And then there’s war dog Ivy.

She protected him, now he plans to protect her. They are, after all, Marines.

Will you help make more of these reunions a reality?

Your support is deeply appreciated and is paramount to our ability to “Lend a Hand to the Paws that Serve”.

Donate here

You can donate via Paypal to MissionK9Rescue@gmail.com

If you prefer to mail a check, please use this address for donations by mail:

Mission K9 Rescue
P.O. Box 395
Needville, TX 77461-0395

713-589-9362

EIN 46-4302698 501(c)3 Non-Profit Organization

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