U.S. soldiers who wanted to adopt the dogs that faithfully served beside them are outraged as their canine partners have been taken and “dumped” into civilian life by the group that trained them for military service.
Robby’s Law, which was enacted in 2000, ensures that soldiers or their families get first crack at adopting the retired dogs who are sent back to the U.S., but in many cases the North Carolina based K2 Solutions adopted them out to someone else while ignoring the soldiers, the New York Post reported.
An active duty soldier who went by the name Daniel to protect his privacy told the Post 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 virtually disappeared.
What’s worse, is some government employees may be involved in the scandal, the Post reported.
“When I contacted K2, they were like, ‘She’s gone and adopted out,’ ” Brian Kornse, who now suffers from PTSD, told the Post.
He believed the dog was given to former Pentagon employee, Leo Gonnering.
When Gonnering’s phone was contacted by the Post the call was returned, and a voicemail left, 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.”
Ryan Henderson, who has been looking for his dog since 2014 told the Post he thinks there is a black market for the canines.
“Ninety dogs adopted out, at the same time, under suspicious circumstances?” he told the Post. “Subcontractors are literally another layer of insulation to cover the BS.”
A former K2 employee who asked not to be identified told the Post 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 to the Post that the Army was at fault 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.”
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