U.S. Army Specialist Zachery McEntire met his best friend in an unlikely place: 50 feet down in a burn pit filled with used medical supplies.
McEntire recently rescued Mimi the stray puppy from this terrifying predicament, climbing into the pit to scoop up the little dog, while deployed in Afghanistan.
Since pulling the pup to safety, McEntire has bonded with Mimi and the two are now inseparable. Every free moment McEntire has, Mimi is there by his side, even snuggling close to the Army specialist for naps.
“I know that I saved Mimi from that burn pit, but in a way I feel like she saved me,” McEntire said in a statement. “I can’t imagine leaving her behind. We belong together and it means a lot to me to be able to take her home to Texas with me.”
Unfortunately, bringing Mimi back to the United States isn’t as simple as getting the dog a plane ticket. To be allowed into the country, Mimi needs to go through a complicated and costly process that requires vet visits, a quarantine period, paper work and more.
Overall the cost it would take to prepare Mimi for a move and transport her to her new home in Texas is about $6,000. This is not a sum McEntire can easily pay on his own.
To help the Army specialist, Paws of War, a non-profit dedicated to training shelter dogs to be service animals for veterans, has teamed up with Nowzad Dogs, a group that works with reuniting soldiers with the furry friends they made overseas, to help raise the money McEntire needs to make Mimi his forever pet. The two groups are also dedicated to helping McEntire get through the complicated process of sending Mimi to Texas once he has the funds.
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McEntire and his supporters are hoping to raise the money for Mimi’s travel by the end of May, which is National Military Appreciation Month, so she can land at New York City’s John F. Kennedy airport in June. Aside from making McEntire’s life forever brighter, it is important to the groups to get Mimi to the United States since the puppy would likely end up neglected or euthanized if she stayed in Afghanistan.
“We are committed to helping our soldiers with situations like this as we know how much it means to them,” Dori Scofield, co-founder of Paws of War, said in a statement. “But we can’t do it without the assistance of the public. This is a great way to give back to those who give us so much.”
You can donate to the fundraiser to bring Mimi to America here.