Marines raise money to bring Afghan puppies to Michigan - WNEM TV 5

Marines raise money to bring Afghan puppies to Michigan

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Source: CNN Source: CNN
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Some Marines from Michigan are bringing home two puppies they rescued while deployed in Afghanistan.

"Me and my team were taking the trash out in the morning as we do every morning. We saw one of the trash bags moving and was somewhat empty and there was a puppy laying in it trying to dig through the trash to find food,” said Hayden Gort, U.S. Marine.

That's when they found the puppy they would name Sabula.

"After a couple minutes of talking to her and trying to show her love and get her attention she finally let us touch her and pick her up and we brought her back to our base and just kind of loved on her and gave her some food. From there and just fell in love with her,” Gort said.

The Marine named her Sabula after a local Afghan girl who lives near their base.

Just a few weeks before, other Marines from the Grand Rapids area found a dog they would name Nala.

"They found her on the side of the road kind of doing the same thing -- looking for food,” Gort said.

Gort said they couldn't leave the dogs alone.

"She had a pretty bad cut on the side of her which is just now fully healing. She has a scar there. She was really limping on her back-left leg and it seemed like she got kicked or something by one of the nationals as the people here do not treat dogs very well, so we just wanted to come feed her and show her some love and show her what she could be getting and she just wouldn't leave,” Gort said.

The Marines made fundraising pages to help bring the dogs back to Michigan. They needed almost $4,000 for veterinary care, vaccines and the trip home.

They raised the money in less than a week.

"We have to fly these puppies in a helicopter to Kabul where they spend a 30 to 45-day quarantine to make sure that these Afghan puppies don't have any animal diseases that we could bring home to American dogs. And they they'll see a vet there, get all their vaccinations and stuff there, then this company will send the puppies over to Detroit, Michigan where our families will go and pick them up from there,” Gort said.

In the meantime, Gort said the pups keep them going.

"It definitely keeps our morale much higher. Being here in Helmand Province it's not the greatest place to be. There's threats all over us, so having this kind of little bit of freedom and happiness around us it definitely helps a lot because we go through the days and anything could happen,” Gort said.

Gort said he can't wait to get home and have Sabula by his side.

"It'll be a good reminder of how there are good things that can come out of this country. There's a lot of bad stigma about this country I feel like. There's a lot of people here and animals here that are good people,” Gort said.

Gort said he should be home sometime before the start of summer.

Sabula and Nala should hopefully be getting to Michigan before then in February.

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