Why rescue animals in other countries when local shelters are full of adoptable pets?
Our primary mission is to help bring home the companions to our soldiers serving in a war zone. These companions already have homes waiting for them — they just need help getting there. TPRM believes that these beloved companions have at times not only physically saved our soldiers from harm but have also filled an emotional need for a sense of home and normalcy in a hostile and dangerous environment.
These companions make our soldiers’ lives better. Their unconditional love is critical to the morale of our troops. And as demonstrated by the attack on the suicide bomber, these dogs protect our soldiers from harm. In return, our soldiers want to save their companions from this dangerous world when they are transferred home. TPRM responds to our soldiers’ requests for help by raising funds and helping find the means to transport their friends.
TPRM believes this rescue mission has a place among all the organizations working both globally and domestically to save animals from cruelty and death. We believe that in supporting our soldiers’ urgent requests to help save their companions, we are not only supporting our fighting men and women but also helping to save the helpless from a cruel world. In the words of our founder, “No soldier should ever be faced with the decision of leaving their beloved animal behind….”.
How much does it cost to rescue an animal?
Costs constantly change as a result of working in a war zone, in a third-world country, and at a great distance. Costs are incurred to cover:
Transportation from field to safety. The greater the distance, the more dangerous the area, the greater the cost. Boarding/kenneling, both before and during transport home. Unplanned layovers can and usually do occur during flights home. Medical exams, possible spay/neuter, vaccinations, treatments, usually before and sometimes during transport home as required. Air flights home, through several countries. Distance, weather conditions, flight delays and/or cancellations, sudden political unrest, changes in routes, fuel surcharge, size of animal, handling fees, all affect cost. Oversea routes are the most changeable but can happen domestically as well. Kennels/Crates for transport home. Purchasing and safely shipping crates is subject to the same issues as flying pets. Transition home. There is usually another airport vet check in the States, and often another airport boarding cost while awaiting a final flight home, plus cost of the last flight, or cost for drivers if no flight is available.
In other words, costs can change suddenly. The total cost of rescuing an adult dog in February 2011 can reach as high as $4000 at times. For an adult cat, it can reach $2000. The soldiers pay their part and TPRM does the fund raising for the remainder.
Why are certain details kept confidential (i.e., location of the transit facility, identity of the soldier, projected arrival dates of the animals, etc)?
Due to the dangerous conditions in this part of the world, identities and locations of those who are involved in assisting animals must be held confidential to ensure the safety of the transit facility workers and those soldiers who are involved in the rescues. Also, due to various issues that can arise both within the borders of the country or internationally, we can never predict when a rescue will be cancelled or postponed due to illness, heightened security concerns, logistical issues, weather problems, etc. For that reason, we do not announce an animal’s travel plans.
Do you ever have any animals who are available for adoption or who need foster homes?
Occasionally we do have animals who are in need of a home. It is not uncommon for a soldier to bring their battle buddy to the transit facility for safety before they depart the war zone. Although they would like nothing more than to bring the animal home with them, it isn’t always possible; therefore, we do our best to help the transit facility find a suitable and loving home for them. This is done through Sasha’s Legacy, which has its own Facebook page as well, and is run by our Foster/Adopt Committee. Foster homes are also sometimes needed if an animal arrives in the States prior to the soldier’s return and there is no one to look after it until the soldier arrives.
What is the process if a soldier needs assistance bringing his war zone companion animal home?
Anyone in the military who is interested in bringing a battle buddy home should contact PRM by email. You will then be contacted to discuss the process, evaluate the situation and explain the next steps to take.
What is the difference between The Puppy Rescue Mission and Sasha’s Legacy?
The Puppy Rescue Mission is dedicated to rescuing the companion animals of our troops. Sasha’s Legacy primarily focuses on finding homes for animals that were brought to the transit facility by soldiers so they’d be safe, but they are unable to adopt them themselves.