San Diego Animal Support Foundation's

Bringing Dogs Back from Afghanistan for Our Marines

The San Diego Animal Support Foundation would like to thank all those who donated to Operation Enduring Dog, making this mission a huge success!

Operation Enduring dog began with a call from a Marine named Will, on his second tour of duty in Afghanistan. He wanted help bringing his dog Farrah home from the Middle East, and couldn't find anyone to help him get the puppy out of Afghanistan. We were also contacted by four other Marines asking for help to bring dogs home who had provided comfort and joy to the men stationed in a violent, war-torn part of the world. Navigating the process of getting dogs out of the Middle East was much more difficult and expensive than we ever thought possible. Thanks to TAX-DEDUCTIBLE donations we were able to cover shipping costs, crates, transportation, wiring, vet, and customs fees involved in saving these dogs.

If you would like to support our efforts to save animals already in San Diego County who need care, please visit our EMERGENCY MEDICAL ASSISTANCE page.

Operation Enduring Dog Success Stories

MEDEVAC Dog Rescue Fund

The MEDEVAC Puppies' Blog Site
Lucky, the mother dog, was named after she ran for almost 20 miles following a patrol convoy. When she finally tired out, she was scooped up and brought back to the base. She began surviving off of scraps on the base, and eventually became pregnant from another dog the soldiers had also taken to. Unfortunately, he was later killed as most dogs on base are typically euthanized. Nearing the day Lucky was going to give birth, a platoon (Medevac) was supposed to relocate to a new base. They flew very pregnant Lucky with them there, only to find their living space was not yet ready. Not wanting to leave her there by herself ready to give birth, they flew her back (again luckily), and she gave birth that night. The next day, mom and 9 puppies were flown to the new base where they now have their own dog shelter. There has been a strong effort within the platoon to care for these puppies, having dog food, toys, treats, and other supplies sent to them. Without their care, the dogs would likely be euthanized, or severely mistreated in numerous ways (it is not uncommon in the local culture to beat dogs to death, or use them for dog fighting, for example). Three guys have committed their efforts to bringing the 3 dogs home (while the rest will have to be brought to a shelter), help is needed to meet the costs.


UPDATE, September 23, 2009: Farrah arrived home to San Diego along with Mini Dog. She is in good health and enjoying her new home and family.

"My name is Will, I am a Marine stationed out of Camp Pendleton but deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom right now. While here in Afghanistan I have taken in a dog from the nearby city that would have ended up on the street and without a home, left to fend for herself. Her name is Farrah, she is a Sage Koochee breed which means "dog of the nomad", and we think she's about 3 months old.
We found her scavenging outside of our small camp so we brought her in, fed her, washed her, gave her shots from a local vet and a lot of TLC. I think she knew what we were up to and from then on its been friends for life, she has taken on the role of being part of the family, everyone takes turns watching, feeding and taking her out. She is a constant companion to all of us and can frequently be found on the couch next to one of the guys, or out playing catch...well, learning anyway. She is extremely sweet and well tempered, and is always there to greet you with a kiss!
I am trying to get her back to San Diego and keep her myself with my wife and family by any means necessary.
Any help that you could give me would be greatly appreciated, not just by me , but all of the Marines here!"



UPDATE, September 23, 2009: Mini Dog has arrived home to San Diego and is with her new family. She is being well taken care of and enjoying her new home.

"Early in March, we were on our camp here in Afghanistan when a local man came up with a small pup in his hands. I couldn't understand what the man was saying but he handed me the puppy. She was very tiny and I just called her Mini Dog, because I never name animals until i know they are going to be mine (sort of my way of not getting too attached). We fed her and asked our Captain if she could stay with us. The Captain, being a dog lover himself, decided she could stay. As she grew she developed a sweet personality. She is very well behaved, and gets along with Farrah (above). She is very smart and already knows how to sit and shake. She stays inside my little room with me at night (her choice) and runs around most of the day. I have had several folks send treats, bones, shampoo and brushes out here for her. I think she gets more mail than me! She has really made this deployment enjoyable for me as well as the other guys here on the camp. Just days before I got her, my mother informed me that my own childhood dog had passed away. If I can get her back to the States it would be unbelievable. I will be returning early this fall to California. Thank you for helping us with these pups, really it is so kind of you.
Thanks again."




UPDATE! After more than 20 hours on a plane from Pakistan, an overnight trip from NYC to LA, Poppy says goodbye to the planes and is resting happily at her home in San Diego! We would also like to recognize the generous contribution of a great family in NY who volunteered to care for Poppy for three days, and also provided vet care before getting her on a plane to the West Coast.

"The first time I laid eyes on Poppy was on a early morning run. She was just a cute little puppy that was tied up near one of our guard posts manned by our local national force. She was used as early warning by the guards to give alarm to any unwelcome guests. She did her job well, barking uncontrollably at anyone who approached. I did not think much of it at first just thought she was a cute pup. About a week later I was sent to provide a sniper over watch for patrol outside of the base. My position was at the guard post where Poppy was tied up. When I went to pet her she was terrified of me. Her tail was between her legs and was trying to get as far away from me as she possibly could on the little yellow rope she was bound by. It was obvious that she was beaten by the guards and scared of people. I gently caressed the top of her head a few times and then manned my post. Later on one of my fellow Marines came up to me and said "isn't that the saddest puppy dog face you have ever seen?" I had to agree she had eyes that could pierce right through you. He then said "Mike you have to save her." That day I had spent hours watching the local farms taking care of their poppy fields. The fields were beautiful and full of color because they had just bloomed. My friends then asked me "So if you can get this pup what would you name her?" Without hesitation I replied "Poppy!" we both chuckled for a second because that name was perfect. He then replied "Now you have to save her." So right after my watch was up I went to get a interpreter and see if they would let me have her. The first meeting didn't go as well as I planned and they did not want to part with her. By this time I had made up my mind that I was going to take care of this pup and get her away from the guards that where mistreating her. With the help of my friend, we negotiated Poppy's release at 2000 Afghani which is about $40 U.S. I then carried her back to my camp. She was very skittish at first and ate like she had never eaten before. After a couple of days she started to warm up to people. She slept next to my bed every night and never made a peep. After a couple of weeks she was playing like any puppy should. She loves playing with the other dogs and will now share a bowl of food. Since I first got her in early March of this year she has come a long way. Poppy has an amazing personality and is extremely gentle. She will be a great family dog. She now has a few tricks up her sleeve as well. She loves to give high fives and will sit, stay, lay down and always comes on command. In these last few months I have taken care of her she has become a real companion. She makes sure that I am up at 5:30 every morning so we can go on our morning run. I have made her a bed underneath mine which my buddies call our bunk bed. After I found out there was a possibility that I could take her back to the States I knew I had to do anything in my power to get her back with me."




UPDATE, AUGUST 20, 2009: Miranda made it to her new home today! She is in great condition, and getting to know her new puppy friend Irwin, who is just terrorizing her by wanting to play play play! Tomorrow she'll take her first trip to the dog park. More pictures of Miranda on her website here.

Miranda is a black labrador that has kept Red company while on deployment in Afghanistan. She is a sweet, lovable dog, and Red and his fiancee (now wife) raised a majority of the funds on their own. SDASF joined forces with Red's family to bring Miranda home.