Photo Gallery | Raka and Woody in the studio; bomb dogs on WBTV
SALISBURY - Two dogs who have spent their lives saving the lives of soldiers and civilians in Iraq, now need help of their own.
Woody and Raka are staying at the Faithful Friends animal sanctuary in Rowan County while the search is on to find any of the dog handlers that worked with these dogs in Iraq.
"They were bomb detection dogs in Baghdad and a forward operating base in Tikrit," Shelly Swaim of Faithful Friends told WBTV during a live appearance on WBTV News First at Four on Thursday afternoon. "One of the vets caring for them in the Forward Operating Base in Tikrit had arranged for them to be transported back to the states and got transferred to Hawaii and she couldn't take them."
The hope is to find one of the handlers that worked with Woody and Raka.
"These guys, the army rotates out every 12 months so they probably had several handlers, these dogs probably did 4 or 5 tours of duty right in a row."
Raka even survived a harrowing experience away from the duties of looking for bombs.
"Most of their records were destroyed in a kennel fire where Raka was trapped, as the building burned he (Woody) was out on patrol and this dog, Raka, was saved from the fire," Swaim added.
Anyone who can help reunite these special animals with their handlers is asked to contact Faithful Friends. The phone number is 704-633-1722, or interested parties can visit the web site at faithfulfriendsNC.org
"We think that would be a wonderful ending to a story like this. These dogs deserve the honor and respect that all of our military do," Swaim added.