What many people may not realize is while the nation’s soldiers risk their lives for defending freedom overseas, animals are utilized in the battle as well.
Military canines are utilized to sniff out bombs and other traps, which can sometimes put them in harm’s way. While they have handlers to administer pet care and ensure the dogs are as safe as possible, sometimes things still go wrong.
Larry Chilcoat, who served in the Vietnam War with his dog, Geisha, is looking to honor all of the fallen military canines with a national monument, according to Caller.com. The news reporter reveals that 4,000 canines were used during the Vietnam War alone, and that more than 200 perished.
John Burnam is another Vietnam dog handler who is pushing to create the monument, saying that military canines saved his life on multiple occasions.
"If the dog’s body goes rigid, they cock their head, perk ears, fix their eyes, you know it’s dangerous," Burnam told the news provider. "You certainly don’t want to go where the dog doesn’t want to go. They saved my butt from enemy fire several times."
An animal rescue group in Franklin County, Virginia, is doing everything in its power to find a permanent home for a mutt named Herbie.
After his owners abandoned him in the wild three months ago, Herbie was able to last the cold wintery months and snow, in addition to being attacked by another pack of dogs, according to NBC Washington.
After the canine was picked up, veterinarians noticed that despite these injuries and harsh conditions, Herbie is gradually making a recovery back to good dog health.
Herbie has been staying with volunteer foster families until he can be permanently placed. He has won a special place in many people’s hearts, who are joining in the search for finding the pup a permanent residence.
"He actually is very resilient," Herbie’s foster parent, Rick Walsh, told the news provider. "He likes to keep you happy. He is a very happy dog. His tail is always wagging. … Whoever is lucky enough to adopt Herbie will be very fortunate."
Sometimes, giving up an animal can be the hardest thing for a family to do. However, it could be in the pet’s best interest.
One family from Washington state surrendered their German Shepherd, Haley, to the Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County three years ago as a result of an undisclosed family crisis that prevented them from providing proper pet care, according to OhMiDog.com.
The dog was never far from the unidentified family’s thoughts, as they kept pictures and mementos of their beloved canine. Assuming that too much time had passed, the family decided to get a new dog once they were freed of their problematic predicament.
As luck would have it, a family had adopted Haley in 2007 but had returned her a few days ago because they were having problems with her running away. When her original family came to the shelter looking for a new pup, they were reunited with their old friend.
The family quickly adopted Haley and they now have regained the family member that they had lost years ago.
Firemen rushed to a house in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, after a home caught on fire in the middle of the afternoon when a heat lamp inside a dog house caused the flames.
While the Ford family was not home at the time of the incident, the family’s seven pets were all in danger, according to Nashville NBC affiliate, WSMV. The firemen assessed the situation and got to work ensuring all of the animals got out safely, much to the gratitude of the Ford family.
"Our family couldn’t be replaced. Our animals couldn’t be replaced," homeowner Carla Ford told the news provider.
According to the Daily News Journal, even a Federal Express worker saw there was trouble and managed to pull one of the pets to safety.
The four dogs and three cats are all said to be in good pet health, and are under the care of neighbors as the Ford’s try to put their lives back together. The Red Cross is currently assisting the family with finding a place to stay.
In some cases with family pets, there can be a sense of protection and companionship between the animals. Although the stereotype of cats and dogs is that they mix like oil and water, some animals are proving that this notion is a fallacy.
A pug named Chloe and a cat named Willow are the beloved pets of the Bjelland family from Billings, Montana. The two recently demonstrated how much they care for one another when Willow fell through ice into a fish pond and could not escape, according to the Missoulian.
Chloe quickly sprung into action and began barking at the Bjellands’ door. Amanda Bjelland was confused as to why the dog would not stop barking and followed as the pup led her to the koi pond where Willow was trapped.
Bjelland was able to rescue Willow and quickly took her back to the house so she could warm up. The event does not appear to have severely impacted her cat health.