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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Dogs of war find a home in York County

The story of an American dog rescue, and two pups in York County is rooted in war.

Sixteen years into the ongoing war on terror, nearly one dog per day from conflict ravaged areas across the world is finding a home in the United States, and even in York County.

For Jennifer Griffin, a 43-year-old Army wife and mother of three in York County, it started about five years ago as she was scrolling through Facebook.

“I was just following along seeing all these you know cute animals get brought back from Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait and Africa,” Griffin said.

By 2013 she adopted one of the dogs she found through the Puppy Rescue Mission.

Dogs of war

The mission was founded after three dogs saved the lives of U.S. military personnel at a combat outpost in Afghanistan.

A suicide bomber had allegedly attempted to enter the outpost at night to kill or injure service members, but the bomber was stopped.

Patriot’s “sister” Lolly Polly has a similar story of traveling from an arid landlocked country to the United States. (Courtesy Jennifer Griffin)
Patriot’s “sister” Lolly Polly has a similar story of traveling from an arid landlocked country to the United States.
(Courtesy Jennifer Griffin)

Three dogs friendly to the troops attacked the bomber, causing him to detonate his bomb without fatal harm to the soldiers, according to the rescue mission’s website.

After the incident, the soldiers began caring for the surviving dogs and their puppies.

It didn’t take long before one soldier and his fiancée started planning a way to bring the dogs to the United States.

In 2010, the Puppy Rescue Mission was founded. Seven years later, the mission has helped find homes for 2,500 dogs from areas of conflict worldwide, according to founder Anna Cannan.

Active in all 50 states, hundreds of volunteers work to transport dogs to places they’re wanted, Cannan said.

Griffin became the nonprofit’s adoption coordinator in June, according to Griffin.

That once meant driving a pup more than 250 miles or five-and-a-half hours, Griffin said, from Baltimore, Maryland, to Rocky Mount, North Carolina.

York County connection

Four years ago Griffin adopted a lanky female puppy from the streets of Kabul, Afghanistan, named Patriot.

While she may look like a German Shepherd, Patriot is “100 percent Middle Eastern mountain dog,” according to Griffin. (Courtesy Jennifer Griffin)
While she may look like a German Shepherd, Patriot is “100 percent Middle Eastern mountain dog,” according to Griffin. (Courtesy Jennifer Griffin)

“It takes longer to integrate the dogs into a house than a dog from the humane society,” Griffin said. They need a lot of quiet time and rest.”

Patriot was named by the soldier who found her, Griffin said. The 7-month-old puppy found her way nearly 7,000 miles from a city ravaged by war for 39 years to one of the founding towns of the United States.

While she may look like a German Shepherd, Patriot is “100 percent Middle Eastern mountain dog,” according to Griffin.

Patriot’s “sister” Lolly Polly has a similar story of traveling from an arid landlocked country to the United States.

Lolly Polly’s rescue story isn’t a typical dog rescue story.

“She was found in Africa,” Griffin said. “Her and her litter mate were found on the Niger-Chad border in Africa by Navy SEALs.”

The Virginia Beach-based soldiers rescued the dog from the heat of Saharan Africa before helping to send her across the Atlantic Ocean with help from the Puppy Rescue Mission, according to Griffin.

Lolly Polly was never supposed to live in York County. Instead, she’d been slated to live with one of the soldier’s mothers. That plan fell through, and Lolly Polly found her way to the other side of the Southside.

The “100 percent sub-Saharan African village dog” found a loving home and a “sister” in York County, Griffin said.

Does your pet have a story to tell? Submit it to WYDaily’s Calling all Pets section. Looking to get involved with a pet rescue? Call the Heritage Humane Society in York County.

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