WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, September 25, 2019 —
Military working dog (MWD) Zoran, who bravely served protecting our troops at the Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Iwakuni in Japan, retired from service and was reunited Monday in San Antonio with his former handler, U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Brianna George. Zoran, a nine-year-old German Shepherd, is trained for detection and patrol. He and Cpl. George last saw each other in September 2018, after serving close to two years together in Japan.
American Humane, the country’s first national humane organization, sent one of its top veterinarians to pick up and escort MWD Zoran to San Antonio following his overseas flight. Support was provided by American Humane’s Lois Pope LIFE Center for Military Affairs, Hallmark Channel and Cavender Toyota, where the emotional reunification took place.
American Humane has been working to support the U.S. military, veterans, and military animals for more than 100 years. One of its many efforts is reuniting military working dogs retiring from service with their former handlers. The incredible bond that exists between these dogs and their handlers is powerful and can be healing for both.
“American Humane is proud of our work in bringing these four-legged soldiers back to the country they spent years protecting,” said Robin Ganzert, PhD, American Humane president and CEO. “Every military dog deserves a hero’s welcome and a retirement with the human handler who knows and loves them best.”
“By helping our brave military working dogs make their way back to the arms of their former handlers, we are honoring their amazing work and that they have spent their lives serving our country,” said Lesa Staubus, DVM, American Humane veterinarian. “Even more importantly, we are respecting the powerful bond between the dog and the servicemember, bringing them back together where they belong. We are ever thankful to the military for their cooperation in this work.”
“I cannot wait to give Zoran the retired life he deserves for all his years of faithful and dedicated service,” Cpl. George said. “I also can’t thank American Humane for the time and effort they dedicated to getting Zoran home from Japan. Without them, this wouldn’t be possible.”
Retired MWDs often have medical issues stemming from their physical jobs. American Humane works on reunifications and helps provide free specialty and preventative medical care to make retired MWDs as healthy and comfortable as possible during retirement. Many dogs also suffer from post-traumatic stress.
About American Humane
Founded in 1877, American Humane is the country’s first national humane organization. For more information, visit www.AmericanHumane.org.