Local soldiers reunited with puppies saved in Kenya

The soldiers hadn’t seen the puppies in five months until Saturday afternoon

ROANOKE, Va. – They say dogs are a man’s best friend, and some of our bravest men got reunited with their four-legged friends.

Chase Griffith, David Pettit, Jaden Naulty, Thomas Johnson, and Andrew Edgar all are serving in the Virginia National Guard. This spring while deployed in Kenya, the group came across a couple of dogs that ended up having puppies.

“We just kept taking care of the puppies, feeding them you know stuff like that. The locals there didn’t really like dogs and they probably would have killed them,” Pettit said.

Pettit got the group onboard with rescuing the puppies and adopting them when they got back home. However, they couldn’t do it themselves.

The group Paws of War stepped in to help.

Co-Founder of the organization, Robert Misseri, says each mission takes a lot of work and money.

“It’s an extremely complicated process. With these puppies, once the soldiers handed them over to us we had to use donkeys, we had to use row boats, we had to use locals,” Misseri said.

Once Paws of War was able to get the puppies to the United States, the moment came for them to be reunited with the soldiers who saved them.

“It was just surreal. She’s grown a lot but she has the same personality and the same coloring as she did when she was a puppy,” Pettit said.

The dogs were very timid at first. They had just been on a months-long journey from country to country, most of the time being carried in just a small crate.

The puppies eventually came around and started getting used to their new owners.

“This is when you say it’s really all worth it. Looking at all this and seeing them reuniting, then you realize it’s really worth it,” Misseri said.

Although the group of soldiers is waiting to go back to Kenya, they say they’re already setting up the first puppy play date.

About the Author:

Connor Dietrich joined the 10 News team in June 2022. Originally from Castle Rock, Colorado, he's ready to step away from the Rockies and step into the Blue Ridge scenery.