Paws of War steps up to save behavioral health service canine Lieutenant Colonel Musket Military
NESCONSET, New York – (March 14, 2022) –Musket is a brave and loving street dog who was formally adopted from a pound as part of an innovative program to help U.S. troops stationed overseas. His inspirational journey saw him rise through the ranks and into the hearts and minds of soldiers when he became the first recognized Behavioral Health Service Canine on the Middle Eastern base. But when Musket faced the grim prospect of euthanasia, Paws of War jumped into action to make sure that didn’t happen.
“This is a special case about an exceptional dog who has played an important role in helping our soldiers while they were deployed overseas,” explains Robert Misseri, co-founder of Paws of War. “To see him stripped of everything he worked so hard to accomplish does not sit well.”
Musket’s story began when a Behavioral Health Service Canine program was brought to life for our troops serving in the Middle East by a Brigade Surgeon Colonel and his team. Tasked with finding the right dog for the program, Behavioral Health Officer, Captain H’s search led her to the pound in the Middle East. She noticed a little pup eagerly trying to get her attention as he peered through the bars of his cage, his tail wagging as fast as it could go. He was adorable, and he was perfect!
The training to make it into the program was hard, but Musket was a natural, and he took on the role as though he knew it was his life’s purpose. CPT. H had a new prescription for whatever troubles a soldier was facing: Go pet Musket. The devoted pup thrived among his military family and they loved and appreciated him for giving them a break from the monotony of deployment, and reminding them of their own pets back home. Though new and short-lived, the program was a huge success.
When the program was unexpectedly terminated, the order came through that Musket’s status had been revoked, and with it, the devastating news that he was being stripped of his DoD identification. Despite everything he had done, Musket was once again considered to be a stray dog, and in line with the military policy, he had to leave the base immediately. There was nowhere for him to go but back to the pound and his life hung in the balance.
Desperate to save Musket, CPT H reached out to Paws of War and action began immediately to start the process of getting Musket to safety. He was flown to a foster caretaker in Canada where he completed the CDC required 6-month quarantine to be able to enter the United States. Now he is ready for this final part of his journey – reuniting with CPT H and moving into his Stateside forever home.
“We are only able to help our military members and the animals they love thanks to everyone who supports our mission,” said Misseri. “Musket is invaluable to those in need and we cannot let his therapeutic service come to an end. He thrives in helping and strives to do his best – he has more than earned a safe place. We are doing everything we can to make that possible for him here in America”
Paws of War is committed to continuing Musket’s training and will provide him with veterinary care so he and CPT H can continue to bring Musket’s healing personality to the people who need him here in the U.S. To support the efforts to help Musket continue his work and reunite with his soldier, donations can be made at: https://pawsofwar.networkforgood.com/projects/155694-help-reunite-musket-with-his-us-soldier
Paws of War has helped veterans with numerous issues, including suicide, service and support dogs, companion cats and dogs, food insecurity, veterinary care, and animal rescue for deployed military. As the demand for Paws of War’s services grew, traditional fundraisers like galas and golf outings were sidelined, putting a crimp in the needed funding to keep these services going. Paws of War has a large loyal following of supporters and looks forward to working with new corporate sponsors to keep these life-saving programs running.
About Paws of War
Paws of War is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable organization that assists military members and their pets, rescues and trains dogs in being service dogs, and provides companion animals to veterans. To learn more about Paws of War and the programs provided or donate, visit its site at: http://pawsofwar.org.
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