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Posted on Sunday, February 19th, 2012

Soldier seeking funds to bring dog home from Afghanistan

The war in Afghanistan has taken a significant mental toll on many of the soldiers in the theatre, so any semblance of normalcy is embraced by the brave soldiers. When Army Master Sgt. Curtis Stapleton was on patrol near Gardez, Afghanistan, he and his squad found a dog nursing puppies not far from an Afghan Army outpost. The soldiers started to bring the pups food and named the mother Sarina. As many of the pups were adopted by Afghan commandos, the squad decided to give Sarina a good home and built her a plywood dog house at the army base, according to DogChannel.com.

The soldiers’ initial intent was to find a home for the dog with one of the local villagers, but canines don’t exactly have the same appeal as they do in the United States. Dogs are seen mainly as scroungers, and they are only valued if they can fight and protect a given area. As time went on, Sarina became a fixture around the base and the men loved having her around.

“Sarina was our comfort during dark, cold nights in Afghanistan, where normality does not seem to exist,” Stapleton told the news source. “She kept us company, reduced the stress, warmed our hearts and helped us to survive mentally.”

Stapleton started to investigate possibly bringing the dog home to the United States, and contacted Pam Constable, a journalist for the Washington Post who also helped to set up an animal shelter in Kabul. The trip would cost $3,100 dollars and Sarina would have to be quarantined for 60 days. Thus far, Stapleton and other supporters have raised nearly $2,000, but they need help to pay for the transport. Thankfully, tax-deductible donations can be given through Constable’s charity, the Afghan Stray Animal League. According to the group’s website, their mission is to reduce the amount of stray animals on Afghanistan’s streets and find loving home for these furry friends all over the world.

Hopefully, when Stapleton comes home safe from his tour in Afghanistan, he will be able to enjoy life in rural Oklahoma with Sarina in tow. Donations are still being accepted, and this could be a wonderful way for pet lovers to ensure dog wellness for Sarina and give her the life she’s always deserved.

“She will have a good home in the country,” Stapleton told the news source. “The first thing we will do is let her run in the grass, which she has never seen.”