Two US Navy sailors faced a difficult decision after rescuing two abused and unwanted pups in the Middle East. They had just brought the dogs into their care to nurse them back to health, but were then told they would deploy to Japan soon after. Leaving their new family members behind just wasn’t an option.
Chief Petty Officer Matt Johnson and his wife, veteran Coreen Johnson were stationed in the Middle East when they discovered two dogs in need on separate occasions. The couple has always been deeply passionate about animal welfare, which is why they immediately stopped at the sight of two dogs that needed help.
Peeking through a hole in a metal fence was a tiny pup that was being used as a bait dog. The couple couldn’t bear to leave the helpless animal behind, so they negotiated with the person holding her captive. All it took was an offer of $10 to convince the owner to hand the pup over to the Johnsons. After bringing her home, they lovingly named her Ruby.
Just a few months down the line, Coreen stumbled upon another dog that was in desperate need of help. He was lying on the side of the road and appeared to be on death’s door. Coreen immediately scooped him up and decided that he would go home with her.
The pitiful pup had been abused and neglected and was suffering from burns after a group of local kids attempted to set him on fire. Even with the trauma he just endured, he was so friendly and loving. Her husband Matt was on board with adopting the injured dog, and they decided to name him Sunny.
Just as their family of four was completed, the couple got word that they would soon be sent to Japan for their next deployment. They were then faced with the possibility of having to part ways with their new rescues, as they were unsure if they could bring Ruby and Sunny with them.
“I didn’t know what to do because we had to leave, and I could not live without them. We don’t have children of our own. These dogs are our family and Paws of War totally understood that.” – Coreen Johnson
Unwilling to abandon the animals that finally found safety in their care, the couple reached out to an organization that specializes in situations like this – Paws of War. They work to save animals found in war-torn regions and bring them back to safety in the US. When possible, they even reunite these dogs and cats with the brave soldiers who saved them.
Paws of War understood the Johnsons’ situation and vowed to help the dogs get to their new station in Japan. It was extremely challenging, but the organization was able to locate a flight from the Middle East that would reunite Ruby and Sunny with their dedicated parents.
The family of four is now reunited in Japan and happier than ever. The Johnsons cannot imagine a life without Sunny and Ruby, and they are so thankful for the donations that helped make this possible.
We encourage you to follow Paws of War’s impressive work and help them support the many animals in need overseas!
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