American troops wanting to adopt the dogs that faithfully served beside them are livid as surfacing reports indicate that, despite Federal law, their partners may have been taken and “dumped” into civilian life- by the very group that trained them for military service.
According to the New York Post , Robby’s Law, enacted in 2000, ensures soldiers or their families are to receive preferential pick when seeking to adopt the retired dogs who are sent back to the U.S.
However, in many cases the North Carolina based contractor K2 Solutions adopted them out to someone else, completely overlooking the soldiers and their families.
One active duty soldier (going by the pseudonym Daniel) said he’s been waiting three years to adopt his dog Oogie, who Daniel risked his life to save in a firefight, but the dog has vanished. Daniel is one of at least 200 military handlers whose dogs were secretly dumped out to civilians by K2 Solutions in February of 2014.
Making a bad situation worse, government employees may be involved in the scandal.
“When I contacted K2, they were like, ‘She’s gone and adopted out,” said Brian Kornse, who now suffers from PTSD.
He believes that his dog -a black lab named Fistik- was given to former Pentagon employee, Leo Gonnering.
When the New York Post tried to contact Gonnering, they received a response by someone who said Gonnering “adopted the dog from the Army two years ago. He and his family have no intention of giving the dog up to his prior handler.”
Kornse wants nothing more than to get Fistik back.
“I guess I had PTSD before, but I never really noticed till I gave Fistik up,” Kornse says. “I started having nightmares. I never experienced that before. She made everything better for me- that’s the best way I can describe it.”
Ryan Henderson, who has been looking for his dog since 2014, suspects foul play in the form of a “K9 black market”.
“Ninety dogs adopted out, at the same time, under suspicious circumstances?” he told the New York Post. “Subcontractors are literally another layer of insulation to cover the BS.”
A former K2 employee who asked not to be identified claimed that the company had not properly vetted civilians who were adopting the dogs at adoption events.
“Civilians don’t understand what these dogs have been through in war,” he said. Too many civilians were getting dogs that should have gone to handlers. It wasn’t right.”
K2 CEO Lane Kjellsen, who adopted one of the dogs being sought by a soldier, insinuated that the Army is to blame but that he couldn’t elaborate.
“I would say, ‘Get an official investigation and let me talk,’ ” he said. “I’d tell them what the Army did. I can’t [tell you]. I need to be subpoenaed.”
When pressed for comment by Popular Military, K2 representative Dana Kjellsen stated: “we are not commenting at this time”.
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