DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa. — The Petco Foundation surprised K9 Hero Haven, an adoption and rehabilitation organization in Northumberland County, with a $10,000 grant award on Friday.
It took place at the Petco on Jonestown Road in Lower Paxton Township, Dauphin County.
The grant award was a result of two adopters submitting how their adopted pet brightens their life.
The first is the story of Bill Nacy and Contract Working Dog (CWD) Kelly. Bill was Kelly’s first handler while deployed in Afghanistan from 2010 to 2011. Bill returned home following his deployment but Kelly stayed behind for eight more years.
“I always wondered where she was and how she was,” he said. “Year after year, it began to feel like we would never see each other again. I would pray every night for her and her handler’s safety and contact AMK9 on a regular basis for any updates.”
It wasn’t until this year that Bill got the news that CWD Kelly retired and was back in the United States waiting to be adopted. So Bill did just that.
“When I left Afghanistan and returned home, I was unaware that I had brought so much anger and sadness with me,” he said. “But since adopting CWD Kelly and having her home with me and my wife, it feels like I am whole again. She has brought me the happiness I was missing for years while we were apart.”
The second story is of Abby and CWD Thor.
Abby began fostering for K9 Hero Haven while in college and that’s when she met CWD Thor, a retired narcotics detection dog that spent his career in Afghanistan.
Abby’s time at K9 Hero Haven inspired her to pack up after graduation and work for another animal welfare organization, the Search Dog Foundation in California. But not before adopting CWD Thor and bringing him along!
“The thought of moving 3,000 miles away from all of my friends and family was daunting, but then I realized I didn’t have to go alone,” she said.
Abby added, “Thor loves retirement, he can’t wait to go to work with me every day and have play sessions with his canine friends. I am so grateful that Thor came into my life when his career ended and mine began.”
Bill and Abby will receive a $100 Petco shopping spree as well as BOBS from Skechers shoes and pet accessories.