Franklin – The War Dog

Just imagine. You find yourself in war-torn Afghanistan, where just surviving the day is a struggle for all inhabitants, both human and animal. You’re down to the basics here. Is your family safe? Where is your next meal or clean water coming from? What now?

Into this bleak scenario comes a sweet puppy, now named Franklin. He’s maybe 4 or 5 months old. He steps on an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) somewhere in Afghanistan.  He survives, but one of his front legs will have to be amputated.  Who knows how many human lives were spared because of Franklin’s actions?

Franklin came all the way from Afghanistan to Cascades Humane Society. He was sent to CHS from the Egyptian Society for Mercy to Animals (ESMA). Scared, confused, and badly wounded little Franklin was rescued by ESMA through the generosity of many unnamed soldiers.

How does this work? Soldiers in Afghanistan pay the necessary fees, mostly for transportation, to have these wounded dogs, who are victims of the war, transported out of the country to ESMA. With the financial support the dogs then receive immediate medical treatment and are then relocated–first to Egypt–then to a welcoming rescue agency in the United States. It is just too difficult to transport these dogs directly to the United States. The required vaccines and medical treatment necessary for entry into the country must first be met before the dogs can be shipped here.

Franklin came to us all the way from Egypt. ESMA stabilized Franklin’s medical condition and provided him with all the necessary vaccines for his entry into the USA.  His amputation was done here in the USA by an undisclosed agency. A liaison rescue agency here in the United States that works directly with ESMA then contacted CHS about Franklin–and we said yes. He was 7 months old when he arrived at CHS.

Dogs carry 60% of their weight on their front legs. Franklin now had to work hard to build up the muscle in his remaining front leg. And he struggled at first. Not only was it painful, but he could not move in the way he wanted or was accustomed. The only hint we ever had, though, was his occasional whimper as he recovered.

Throughout his recovery, Franklin never missed a beat. He greeted every day with a joyful attitude, even after such a traumatic experience. This brave puppy always showed only his happy, loving personality to everyone he met. Franklin was always smiling.

Franklin arrived at CHS in late November of 2016. He wasn’t available to adopt for several weeks while his amputation site and body healed. It didn’t take long for him to find his forever family with the Schutter’s of Jackson, Michigan. He was adopted just before the holidays in late December of 2016. Franklin’s story is special us. Many staff members at CHS had tears of joy in their eyes the day he was adopted.

We spoke to Jennifer Schutter recently to find out how Franklin was doing. “Oh, my gosh. He is the greatest dog! He loves to get up on his back feet and hit you like a kangaroo with his front paw. Franklin is the most friendly dog we’ve ever met! We were worried at first about Franklin being scared of loud noises because of what he’s been through, but he has never shown that. He a great reminder to all of about the ease with which dogs move on and adjust after trauma.”

Thanks to the Schutter family for adopting Franklin into such a loving home. We know the soldiers like updates on the dogs they sponsor for this program, so we are happy to send ESMA this “Happy Tail”.

Our deepest thanks to all those soldiers who take the time and give of their own resources to save animals like Franklin, bringing a little light into the midst of a terrible war.

And thanks to ESMA for making all of this possible. CHS will continue to do its part by accepting more dogs from ESMA when we are able.