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Media Advisory: 5 US Soldiers to be Reunited with Dogs They Cared for in Afghanistan at Save-A-Pet
What: While stationed in Western Afghanistan in 2012, Staff Sgt. Edwin Caba of Long Beach, NY; Sgt. Alex Rotondi of Syracuse, NY; Sgt. Travis Burton of Cincinnati, OH; Maj. Andrew Pinckney of Albany, NY; and 1st Lt. Joseph Lapenta of Staten Island, NY grew to care for a stray dog that started following their unit around. She soon began to go on missions with them and protect them from other wild dogs in the area. They named her “Sheba,” Hebrew for “promise.”
On March 23, 2013, Sheba gave birth to seven puppies. Cadence, Rocky, Sarah, Jack, Buckeye, Breezy, and Harris were dubbed “The Magnificent Seven.” The soldiers and their medic cared for both Sheba and all seven puppies to ensure their survival.
Once the soldiers returned home, they could not bear to think of Sheba and her pups still in Afghanistan. To that end, they reached out to Save-A-Pet Founder/President and Guardians of Rescue Vice President, Dori Scofield, who was able to help get all the dogs safely to America via Guardians of Rescue’s “Paws of War – No Buddy Left Behind” program. Once Ms. Scofield was notified the base would be closing, she contacted Nowzad Shelter in Kabul for help. In mid-June, a mission was implemented that allowed Sheba and all seven of her pups to arrive safely at Nowzad.
Through a FundRazr.com campaign set up by Ms. Scofield, Save-A-Pet and Guardians of Rescue were able to raise more than $15,000 for the dogs’ transport to the United States. Slightly short of their goal, the campaign is still running, yet the two organizations pooled additional funds and donations to get the dogs to the United States as quickly as possible for what is sure to be a heartfelt reunion between five soldiers and eight dogs — most of whom will be going home with the soldiers.
When: Wednesday, September 4th
Where: Save-A-Pet Animal Rescue and Adoption Center, Inc.
608 Route 112
Port Jefferson Station, NY 11776
Directions: Long Island Expressway to Exit 64 North (Rte. 112) towards Port Jefferson Station. Continue for approximately eight miles. Save-A-Pet is on the left-hand side.
Photo Ops: The five soldiers being reunited for the first time in four months with Sheba and all seven of her puppies, Save-A-Pet Founder/President and Guardians of Rescue Vice President Dori Scofield, Guardians of Rescue President Robert Misseri, and staff/volunteers from Save-A-Pet and Guardians of Rescue.