The 12 dogs in Greg Meredith’s central Virginia kennel aren’t just any animals who are waiting for their permanent homes. All of them, from floppy-eared Tucker to sad-eyed Abby, are former military dogs who have served in Iraq or Afghanistan.
The dozen highly trained dogs were supposed to be at the Mt. Hope Kennel for a few weeks while a contract company that purchased them from the Department of Defense tried to reassign them as therapy dogs, reports AKC News. Those assignments never came and — 17 months later — they’re still at the kennel.
Meredith has spent more than $150,000 to feed, house and care for these dogs, according to the AKC.
“This guy has lost everything taking care of these dogs,” Bob Bryant, the co-founder of Mission K-9 Rescue, told the organization. “I’m amazed how energetic, friendly and happy they are. These dogs have been emotionally nourished and cared for.”
The nonprofit Mission K-9 Rescue and the United States War Dog Association have taken over the dogs’ care and are working to re-home them with their former handlers. So far, the organizations have placed eight of the dogs back in the care of those individuals.
A GoFundMe donation page has been set up for Meredith in the hopes that kind-hearted individuals will help him recover some of the money he spent out of his own pocket to care for these dogs.