CWD Rocky6 retired from Afghanistan in 2015, where he served for 5 years. Once back stateside, Rocky found his forever home and spent his retirement in Kansas. He reached a point where he had difficulty getting around due to having issues with his hips. He had Pannus at the time of retirement so he was on eye drops for that. He loved his family, especially the grandchildren. He always had the sweetest demeanor.
CWD Dori spent several years serving in Afghanistan. When she came back stateside, she had some medical issues that would take a special family to care for her. She found that loving family and spent her retirement in Illinois.
CWD Piko 36815
05/14/08 - 09/15/17
CWD Farkas retired from Iraq and came to K9 Hero Haven in October of 2019. He was adopted to Faye and JC in PA on 11/20/19.
Here is a message from Faye and JC:
Farkas was a wonderful family member, he went to work with Faye and took walks with her daily through the neighborhood. In the evenings he spent his time next to JC taking naps on the couch and greeting fiends at the door. Farkas had a lot of of health issues from his two tours in Iraq, but that didn’t stop him from enjoying his time and family in PA. Farkas is greatly missed but we are so glad for the time we had to share with him.
CWD Jack retired from Afghanistan and came to K9 Hero Haven in September of 2016. He was adopted to Kandi and Benjamin in PA on 11/19/16
A message from Kandi :
Today has been one of the hardest days. Jack has crossed the rainbow bridge and is now with his brother Bob, my brother Troy, and my grandmother. I know that he is in good hands, Troy loved him. Please say a prayer for Zachary as he lost not only his dog but his best friend. Our hearts are broken.
CWD Goby 17016
12/01/09 - 06/18/19
CWD Deysi PEDD spent 5 years of her life in Afghanistan and the last 7 months as the monster hunting partner of a 3 year old boy. We know that she loved every second of both jobs.
CWD Mery 48096
K9 Ben retired from the police department and came to K9 Hero Haven in January of 2019. He was one of the police K9s that we took in to help save him. He needed a safe place to go after working for several years. While working for the police department he was utilized a lot for apprehension.
K9 Ben adjusting nicely in retirement and was a great dog. He had his quirks but once he knew and trusted you, he loved and bonded with you.
K9 Ben was adopted to Annette and Dave in Utah on 3/27/19. He had a wonderful retirement on their ranch in Utah, were he was very loved and spoiled.
A message from Mom:
Jokey of Brunswick, Ohio passed away peacefully at his home in his sleep on 1-23-22. He was just diagnosed with stomach & lung cancer during his check up on 1-14-22.
Jokey served 3 tours of duty in Afghanistan as Patrol & Explosives dog. He retired in 5/2018.
Being a USAF retiree, it was nice to unite with him.....we bonded from the start and understood one another from our military careers.
Jokey spent retirement as ruler of our home and loved his toys....especially the sqeaker kong balls....which usually were destroyed in minutes.
Jokey was an amazing, wonderful companion....my 4 legged forever best friend.
I salute all the military working dogs for their unconditionally dedication to our soldiers....and to our country.....may we always respect and remember them
Jokey will be greatly missed by me, my family, my neighbors, our vet, ...and all who were blessed to have met this incredibly beautiful soul.
Jokey, rest in peace love....until we meet again.
Thank you, Anne and K-9 Hero Haven, for all you do and for bringing us together. I can not thank you enough.
Working pictures are with his handler, Philip.
CWD Robbie 71477
05/01/08 - 06/14/20
CWD Rocky6 10302
06/01/08 - 05/06/19
K9 Blek came to K9 Hero Haven in February following his retirement from police work.
He was a good dog who loved his toys. He had some separation anxiety. He made you laugh and smile daily with some of his “shenanigans”. He was a favorite here.
K9 Blek had Cryptorchidism, in which only one of his testicles dropped. He had the non-descended testicle removed prior to coming to K9 Hero Haven. We neutered him in February, shortly after his arrival here to remove the one testicle that was descended.
He was doing well here. His physical was good. He wasn’t having any medical issues but last evening K9 Blek got sick and passed away during the night. It looked like it could have been bloat possibly. He passed quickly.
Today I messaged his handler, Mitch to tell him of his passing. It was one of the hardest things I ever had to do.
We will be returning his ashes to him.
CWD Spike 21072
01/16/06 - 02/19/18
CWD Vyktor came to K9 Hero Haven on 7/5/19 after his retirement from Iraq. He was adopted Rick & Kari on 7/16/19. He was able to enjoy almost 4 beautiful years of adoption being part of his family. He was always a huge part of his family. He left knowing what love was.
A message from his DAD:
Yesterday was a tough night as Sam and I said goodbye to Vyktor. Kari and Courtney are in Connecticut getting her moved in for the summer. A special thank you to K-9 Hero Haven for all they do for these heroes!
CWD Vyktor became family! We were so honored to be able to give this hero his well-deserved retirement! He loved to play hide and seek and always won!
He loved his family, he loved his routines, the last few months he started what we called “roll call”. He would forget who all was home, and instead of walking around to see. He would lay where he was barking until someone came to let him know he was not alone.
He was there for our youngest daughters high school years and all the major events around them. He always had a matching bow to go with her dress.
He served his country and his family well! Good bye friend! Rest easy, the pain is gone. You will never be forgotten.
CWD Liza 56832
08/28/09 - 06/03/20
From her family:
CWD FOX (6/2009-7/2022) - Had to say goodbye to this special American (Belgian Malinois) hero tonight. A "veteran" of the war on terror in Afghanistan for 7 years, supporting the U.S. Army the entire time, received wounds requiring surgery from an explosion at least once and retired in 2018 from being an active Contracted Working Dog (CWD), patrolling for IEDs and bad people.
When I learned that you could adopt a retired military working dog through the department of defense, I put it on my list as something I had to do when the time was right. I knew it wasn't easy to meet all the requirements and once I did, there was a waiting list for over a year. Then my wife read a story about K9 Hero Haven (Herndon, PA) so I checked them out and found that they used the same adoption procedures as the DoD. I filled out the multiple page application. K9HH founder Anne Yeager Gibbs had just received a shipment of working dogs from Afghanistan that might be available. After she learned more about me and my family, she thought she had the perfect dog; CWD FOX, an 8.5 year old, female Belgian Malinois that looked like a red fox. When she sent me a photo, I knew she was exactly what I hoped to find someday in a working dog, although very underweight when she arrived!
The Terry's adopted her after a brief introduction to everyone in our family including my son's 7 year old pit bull G-Wiz. FOX came home and fit right in, making herself at home and trying to figure out a life without military discipline. She would travel with me on long road trips to New England for work and I had to learn to find pet friendly hotels! She never barked the first year we had her; apparently trained not to, and in the end she would only bark once to let us know someone pulled in our driveway.
Fox initially had a tiny issue with people wanting to rub noses with her which the human quickly found out was not something she was ready for. She grew out of that in less than a year and was a big attention seeking baby til the end. She was a beautiful dog with the only gray showing around her long snout, big black ears that stood up searching her environment and the rest of her body a full coat of red, brown, and yellow fur (which was also constantly shedding). She had a strong athletic muscular body that loved to run.
It will take a while for signs of Fox to go away as she wore a path around our entire home starting day 1. I thought bringing her home to 25 acres in the country would give her a chance to run free and explore unlike her previous working life. She never strayed from that path that I know of, even when I encouraged her to. When the "grand dogs" came to visit and would run all over the property, she typically stayed at the house. There were a few exceptions with her buddy G-Wiz who lived with her too. She wouldn't have any problem following one of us around the property or in the woods but wouldn't go on her own.
She had many nuances as a CWD that impressed me from the start. The lack of the ability to bark, a calm demeanor around other dogs (even the little yippers trying to get her attention), the military prone position when she would eat, and the overall discipline she displayed with one exception...any ball was fair game, so we lost quite a few basketballs and soccer balls, actually all types of balls during her tenure.
It was one of the hardest things I've had to do tonight. She has not been herself the last few months; her breathing became difficult, and her back legs could barely support her standing, all leading to some other issues that everyone could tell affected her spirit. She was special because of what she gave to others, not just saving human lives with her discipline and abilities, but even after that in the way that she instantly settled in with our family and finally felt secure enough to accept the love, respect and honor from the humans around her.
Thank you Fox for being a part of our family, protecting those who serve in dangerous lands protecting us, and for letting me have the privilege of being your human for four short years. " Til Valhalla Fox," you will be remembered and missed.
CWD Brian 23866
08/15/15 - 11/20/20
CWD Mick 32426
11/28/08 - 02/18/20
CWD Sheila retired from Afghanistan and came to K9 Hero Haven in May of 2018. That coming August, she would turn 10 years old. She was adopted in October of 2018 but was returned on 6/1/19, as the couple was starting a family. She was then adopted to Maryanne & Don on 6/22/19.
She had an amazing retirement where she was very loved and spoiled. She was part of a family and loved spending time with the other dogs in the family including CWD Rambo that was also adopted from K9 Hero Haven. She was able to enjoy retirement and be a dog after spending the majority of her life working.
A message from Maryanne :
Today we made the incredibly difficult decision to euthanize our girl CWD Sheila. She has been battling debilitating arthritis, but we just recently learned that she also had both lung, and bone cancer. She was such a magnificent dog we could not stand the thought of her being in constant pain, and struggling for every breath. We wanted her to leave us as she lived, like a warrior! Don and I were both with her as she peacefully passed away. Even though we thankfully have 3 other dogs including CWD Rambo our house seems very quiet tonight. She was a larger than life presence, and was involved in everything that went on. We have always had dogs but I have never had one with her level of devotion. From the day I brought her home she became myself appointed bodyguard. I can only imagine her giving that same type of devotion to the soldiers that she helped to protect during her long years of service. Don and I will forever be grateful to Anne, and K9 Hero Haven for allowing us to adopt this incredible girl. RIP my sweet girl, now you will be forever young and without pain. Thank you for allowing us to have you as part of our family for the last two years! It was indeed our honor! We will love, and remember you forever!
CWD Felix came to K9 Hero Haven on 8/11/19 after his retirement from Iraq. He worked in Iraq from 2011-2019. He was adopted to Tom & Linda on 9/7/19.
CWD Felix was able to enjoy 3.5 wonderful years of retirement with his family. He was very loved and spoiled.
A message from his Dad:
Hello Anne, it is with a heavy, heavy heart that I wanted to let you know that Felix passed away today.
Every morning he followed me to the back door to let him and our other GS out to do their business. Today, Felix did not follow me. I went back and he was laying in the living room breathing hard and when I told him let’s go, it was very hard for him to get up. He made it and went outside.
He got up 3 steps and everyday he would stop at his dog bowl for water and breakfast. Instead today he walked right pasted it and laid back down in the living room. All morning I tried to get him to walk to me, eat or drink some water, he just kept looking at me and closed his eyes. He did raise to his front paws but then when right back down.
I asked Felix to tell me what to do, I prayed and the look on his face was, Dad, I’m done. We got into the vet and he agreed that his quality of life was ending. My son and I talked to him and held onto him as he passed.
We have had to put dogs to sleep before but this one was by far the hardest one. He was my buddy and best friend.
You said when we picked him up in Sept. of 2019 that he will pick his buddy and I was the lucky one.
We took him to be cremated. My wife and I setup everything and they had him in a casket and said we could go in and say our goodbye. I cried like a little baby. She said I could come back on Wednesday to pick him up.
I asked if I pay now or then. She said you pay nothing, I said what??? We are not charging you anything with him being being a retired working dog.
We are going to have some of his ashes put in a blown glass ball with red, white and blue mixed in. The mount has a light from the bottom, so all I have to do is look over from my bed and he will still be with me.
Felix was the perfect dog for us. We picked him up 1 month before our grandson was born. From the time our daughter brought him home he was on guard for anyone that went near him. Felix would take food out of his hand so gently we could never figure out how he did it, they were best buds.
Felix loved his rides, especially rides in the Jeep with the top off. He would just look around and smile. Most times I had to lift him out because he was not ready to go back in the house.
He loved sleeping with us and at times a king side bed was not big enough for the 3 of us.
He loved the walks and liked it when there was a car or truck parked in the street so he would go around it to clear it.
Thank you … thank you for bringing him into our life. Not a day will go by with out me thinking of him and missing my buddy.
I hope once the pain goes away I will reach out about getting another k9. He or she would have a lot to measure up to. Thank you for all you do for the K9’s.
K9 Mikki CH-31
05/05/07 - 06/15/18
CWD Bear came to K9 Hero Haven on 12/18/17 after his retirement from Iraq. When I picked him up at the airport, I instantly fell in love with this sweet boy. I had recently lost CWD Blackie. CWD Blackie’s birthday was in December and CWD Bear looked like his twin. He came home and moved directly into the retirement home here.
He had the sweetest demeanor and loved people, especially children. He was an amazing ambassador for K9 Hero Haven and attended so many events over the past 5.5 years. He has enjoyed a lot of cheeseburgers and pup cups over the years.
CWD Bear would follow me around the house and could usually be found in the room I was in. He used to sleep upstairs but as his arthritis worsened over time, he stayed down in the living room and stopped doing steps.
He as met so many people and helped bring so many smiles to the people he met… he just had that way about him. He would sit and give you his paw. He would snuggle if you needed snuggles and always seemed to know the perfect distance people wanted and needed him to be.
He was struggling more walking the last few days, but today he was unable to stand up. His body was simply worn out. I wanted so much for him to celebrate his 13th birthday next month, but in reality I see very few working dog German Shepherds reach their 13th birthday. He was such a fighter in every sense of the word. His last few days he was determined to stay walking but recently every day, he had to fight a little harder. Today on Valentines Day, I learned what it is like to love something enough to let it go.
I have hundreds of pictures and it was hard picking out the 80 I was allowed. There are so many favorites with people I want to share over the past 5.5 years. He really was a “one of a kind” working dog. He was very special to so many people. People would ask in advance if he was attending events. He was so loved and left knowing what love was.
Thank you for your service CWD Bear. Fly high above the clouds without pain. You were dearly loved and will be greatly missed by everyone who knew you, especially me. I promise you my sweet boy, you will never be forgotten.
CWD Rex3 55883
Retired US Customs and Border Protection from Detroit
K9 Bono CJ-41 came to K9 Hero Haven as one of our rehabilitation dogs. He retired after 7 years of service from US Customs and Border Protection from Detroit.
K9 Bono had surgery to be neutered and had his shots updated. We took him for ice cream Friday night. He never seem to bounce back after surgery. We had an appointment to go back to the vet the next day, and he didn't make it thru the night.
We took him to the vet to find out what caused his death. They found a tumor on the right side of his heart. They said they are fast growing and his time would have been limited. They explained that it was not something that could of been repaired with surgery. Unfortunately nothing showed with lab work.
K9 Bono worked beside his handler Chris for 7 years. He will be greatly missed. Chris stayed in contact with me almost daily checking on him and loved him dearly.
Thank you for service K9 Bono. Even thou you were at K9 Hero Haven briefly... We loved you and will miss you. Rest easy K9 Bono.
CWD Rokky came to K9 Hero Haven on 5/2/19 following his retirement from Afghanistan. He aged out of service at 9.2 years old.
He was adopted to Howie & Michele on 7/28/19. He was able to enjoy almost 4 wonderful years of retirement being part of his family. He was blessed to enjoy his 13th birthday in February, but unfortunately was recently diagnosed with cancer.
A message from Mom :
Today was a rough day as we prepared to say goodbye to our boy Rokky tomorrow morning. A special thank you to K-9 Hero Haven for all they do for these heroes!
CWD Rokky was one of our children! He loved us unconditionally, as we loved him. He was the truest of friends. He loved to snuggle with his Mom and walk the perimeter of our yard. The first week Rokky lived with us, he ripped our comforter off of our bed, alerting us to explosives under the bed. Howie used to keep spent shell casings there. It gave us a good chuckle. We were so honored to be able to give this hero his well-deserved retirement!
He served his country and his family well! Heaven help anyone that came in our door unannounced. We always felt safe and protected.
CWD Bigki came to K9 Hero Haven on 12/1/17 following his retirement from Iraq. He was adopted to Casey & Andrew on 1/6/18.
CWD Bigki was able to enjoy 5 wonderful years being a part of his family. He was very loved and spoiled. He will be greatly missed by all of them.
A message from his Mom:
With a heavy heart, we share that we have lost Bigki.
He has been an integral part of Andrew and I’s life for over 5 years now. He moved 7 times with us, welcomed Maddie home, and was the best kid herder. He came into our home a stranger to house living, and in the end now we will have to learn how to live in our home without him.
Want to thank K-9 Hero Haven for blessing us with our second hero and we love everything you do for the dogs and also for service members.
Can I also tell you, he served this beautiful country, giving 7 years in Iraq as an EDD. Until he lost a few organs and was retired home. Again, Anne, thank you so much for allowing him to come to us.
CWD Jokey 57207
CWD Kazan came to K9 Hero Haven on July 4, 2018, after his retirement from Afghanistan.
CWD Kazan was not an easy dog. He had a history of bites. He listened well but he had a tendency to be a little unpredictable at times.
I had hoped to adopt him into a retirement home, but he was “aggressive” at times. He actually preferred his alone time and a quiet life. I felt it was best that he remained here at K9 Hero Haven.
Today he started with an unsteady gait and had blood in his urine so we headed to the emergency vet. His yearly physical was actually scheduled in the next 2 weeks.
They completed x rays and found he had a mass on his spleen. We checked his lab work to see if he was possibly a candidate for surgery but the lab work showed it had spread to the liver.
I decided it was best to let him pass with dignity and grace.
CWD Sniper retired from Afghanistan in July 2018 and was adopted shortly after. CWD Sniper was a retired working dog that came home with “aggressive “issues but Fred, a volunteer with K9 Hero Haven, fell in love with him and wanted to take him home regardless. Unfortunately for some, retirement is brief.
Thank you for your service CWD Sniper... rest easy buddy... you will be missed and never forgotten.
CWD Rex 2 retired from Afghanistan and came to K9 Hero Haven in March of 2017. He was adopted to Kevin and Miranda in KY on 7/1/17. Rex became Kevin’s best friend. He helped him a lot as they had both served in Afghanistan.
He loved his family and everyone he met. He had a wonderful retirement and will be dearly missed by everyone who met him, especially his family.
K9 Ozzy came to K9 Hero Haven in May of 2017. He retired early from a department in Illinois. Our volunteer, Greg Anderson helped transport K9 Ozzy and it is a day, he won’t forget. K9 Ozzy came from a sad situation and his working life wasn’t the easiest. When they say some working dogs are treated like equipment. K9 Ozzy's story always comes to my mind.
We moved K9 Ozzy into the retirement home and instantly fell in love with him. We taught him how to eat out of bowls and help him acclimate to living inside. He loved everyone he met. He attended many events as an ambassador for K9 Hero Haven. He was always the happiest dog no matter where life took him.
Over the past 2 years, he developed multiple medical problems. He had past fractures from working which took a toll on him. He had a ruptured disc in his back in the worst possible placement. He was on prednisone daily for over 2 years as well as thyroid medication and multiple pain medications ... yet he still smiled and loved life.
His spirit outlived his body. He was struggling walking and standing. His diagnosis affected all 4 legs and limited his mobility until he got to the point he would struggle to stand and walk. It became very difficult for him in the last few weeks.
He left smiling, knowing he was loved and knowing how dearly he will be missed by everyone who knew him. Fly high my sweet boy. You are loved more then you know... You will never be forgotten.
CWD Zeige served for many years in Afghanistan. Soon after her arrival to K9 Hero Haven, she was adopted to a wonderful couple and she spent her retirement on a beautiful farm in Pennsylvania.
CWD Rocky 3 retired as a Patrol Explosive Detection Dog after serving in Iraq and Afghanistan and came to K9 Hero Haven in February of 2017.
He was adopted to Annette and David in Utah on 5/17/17. He had a wonderful retirement on a ranch being loved and spoiled. He was able to enjoy being a dog after working for several years overseas.
He had a wonderful full retirement that he was able to enjoy with his brothers and the horses there on the ranch.
CWD Rocky 3 retired with back and spine issues and eventually as he aged, it took a toll on his aging body.
CWD Rocky was very sweet and loved everyone he met. He was recently able to go on vacation to visit the war dog memorial in Colorado. He was full of love and life even up to his last days.
CWD Zsa Zsa came to K9 Hero Haven on 12/12/18 following her retirement from Afghanistan. She was adopted to Patricia on 12/21/18.
She had 4.5 wonderful retirement years being part of her family. She was very loved and spoiled. She went everywhere with Mom. She left knowing what love was. She was close to 14.5 years old.
I loved seeing all of her updates as her Mom took the most amazing pictures of her enjoying retirement. They were all absolutely beautiful. She always looked so happy and so LOVED.
K9 Apollo 1
CWD Nellie came to K9 Hero Haven in Dec of 2017 at 8 years of age following her retirement from Iraq.
She was adopted to Ken & Kathy in NJ on 12/27/17. She passed away 10/1/21 after enjoying a beautiful 4 years of retirement life.
She was very loved and spoiled and after a great working career where she aged out of service as an EDD, she was able to enjoy almost 4 years of love and being part of a family.
CWD Berry PEDD retired from Afghanistan at the age of 9 and came to K9 Hero Haven in May of 2019. He was adopted to Kay and Ryan in PA on 5/8/19.
Kay is a Gold Star mom who lost her son, PFC Justin Dreese in September of 2006. He was killed in action during Operation Iraqi Freedom. They wanted to adopt a retired working dog, honoring their love for the military and her son Justin.
CWD Berry was very loved and spoiled and had an amazing retirement after 7.5 years of service in Afghanistan. He loved spending time with his family. Unfortunately, recently they had found that he had an aggressive cancer and decided to spoil and love him in his last and final days here with them. He left knowing love.
Here is a message from his family:
It is with great sadness, that I announce the passing of our beloved CWD Berry. Our family is devastated at our loss of him. Berry was a 7 1/2 year veteran of Afghanistan. He gave us so much love and joy but in the end an aggressive cancer got him. I want to thank Companion Animal Hospital of Selinsgrove, D and J Pet Lodge, and K9 Hero Haven for helping us with Berry and loving him. We will miss him always. Gone but not forgotten.
CWD Rosco retired after serving in Iraq and Afghanistan and came to K9 Hero Haven in May of 2016. He was adopted to Paul in WV on 11/15/16. Rosco had a wonderful retirement life and enjoyed a lot of time outdoors. He was very loved and spoiled. He enjoyed part of his retirement life with CWD Liza who he also adopted from K9 Hero Haven. She had passed away prior to him. CWD Rosco passed away suddenly and very quickly today but he was able to enjoy almost 5 wonderful retirement years with Paul.
CWD Sleepy retired from Iraq and came to K9 Hero Haven in November of 2019. He was placed was his handler, Erik in December of 2019 while he was home on leave.
Erik needed to head back overseas and Dana, a good friend of Erik’s was able to foster him. He was able to visit with him while home especially since she lived closed to him.
Dana provided CWD Sleepy a wonderful retirement home where he was very loved and spoiled.
CWD Sleepy won America’s heart when I posted his homecoming because he was deaf. He could understand hand signals and was known and loved for his gentle, sweet side. He was simply… an amazing dog.
A message from his handler (Dad):
My Iraq partner, Sleepy McGee, crossed the rainbow bridge last night. I’m heartbroken. Thank you Dana for loving him so much and making his last years full of love and comfort. He was such a special boy and a great partner.
CWD Brian 47905
11/06/09 - 01/14/18
CWD Nodjo 27628
04/22/07 - 03/25/21
CWD Kyra retired from Afghanistan and came to K9 Hero Haven in October of 2018. She was adopted to Kito and Kendra on 12/11/18.
She had a wonderful retirement home where she was very loved and spoiled. She was a part of the family and loved the girls as she was always hanging out and playing with them.
A message from her Mom:
Today was a rough one, we had to say goodbye to a member of our family. We adopted Kyra after she retired as a detection dog from the military. Not only was she a veteran but she was the most loving and gentle soul. She adored and loved her sisters and followed them everywhere. We will miss her so much love you fuzzy butt.
We would just like everyone to know what a sweet soul she was.... She loved her sisters Jaurie and Caydence so much, she never left their side. She was so loved and adored by all of us.
CWD Laika6 33608
09/01/08 - 05/03/19
CWD Mick EDD served his whole life working in Afghanistan as an explosive detection dog. He was a great dog and trained very well at what he did. He worked hard.
On 2/17/20, Mick landed in the US and came to K9 Hero Haven to finally start enjoying retirement but sadly, he passed away within 24 hours after returning state-side.
An exam was completed 2/17/20 at the vet's and it was determined the cause of death was due to bloat. The stomach did a partial twist and filled with gas. Unfortunately, we did not see any signs of distress. The vet believes it happened quickly.
Rest easy CWD Mick. Fly high above the clouds. You served your county well. I am sorry that you didn’t receive the retirement life that you deserved after so many years of working in Afghanistan. You will never be forgotten.
CWD Mery retired from Afghanistan and came to K9 Hero Haven in 2017. She was adopted to Pam and Randy on 9/12/17.
CWD Mery had a wonderful retirement where she was very loved and spoiled as part of her family. She was a good girl and the best dog they ever had.
A message from her Mom & Dad:
On 2/22/22 at 4:00 p.m. CWD Mery gave me a kiss and said her final goodbye. My heart is so broken from the loss that I feel. I did have the honor to have her choose me as her mom for almost five years. She rescued me on my birthday September 12, 2017. I know most retired dogs only get a few short years so I feel extremely blessed to have so many years with her. What a grand day it was as I drove from North Dakota to Pennsylvania to pick her up. The bond we made was immediate as I drove back to ND with Mery as my co-pilot.
Mery brought so much joy to our household. She immediately fit in with the brood. Even our little, BOSSY Yorkie Gidget. Mery was so tolerant of this little diva. Her sweetness is what I admired the most. She only liked to cuddle on her terms, and she would definitely let you know when it was time. She loved to watch movies with her dad and would stare so intently it was amusing. Westerns were her favorite. Her favorite thing to do was play ball and lay down. I swear that dog could lay anywhere and be comfortable just as long as she could see you.
She was such a hero and is going to be missed so much. She served her country well. RIP my sweet, sweet baby. I know you have met so many friends as you crossed the Rainbow Bridge.
Love your mom and dad
K9 Mikki retired from US Customs and Border Protection prior to his 11th birthday and came to K9 Hero Haven.
He became an ambassador for K9 Hero Haven and attend several events. He loved people and had no concept of personal space so he was usually found on someone’s lap. Even thou his time with K9 Hero Haven was brief, we all loved him so much. I am sharing my favorite pics of him with you.
You will never be forgotten. We will always remember your beautiful smile
CWD Liza came to K9 Hero Haven in March of 2018. She retired after working 7 years in Afghanistan. She was then adopted to Paul in WV on March 27, 2018. Liza was able to enjoy 2 wonderful years of retirement with Paul and her brother CWD Rosco, who was also adopted from K9 Hero Haven.
CWD Liza had a wonderful retirement home where she was very loved and spoiled. She loved the days she was able to go to work with Paul.
CWD Bertus 36818
K9 Ammo came to K9 Hero Haven in April of 2020 after he retired from police work in WV. He was a retired working dog that I took into the rescue to “save”. He came to me muzzled with 2 officers that I met that day that were transporting him. He was a 1 person dog. He was protective of everyone that came near “his person”
The day I picked him up with Lisa, a volunteer, as he was trying to attack the officers ( with his muzzle on) that were transporting him, I actually looked over at Lisa and said for the first time in years of doing rescue, ”I wonder if I bit off more then I can handle with this one”. I lived alone here at the time and I kept thinking, I have to get this dog home, get the muzzle off and get him into a run without being bit.
He never bit me… he never tried … it was like he knew, I was the person who was going to ”save” him. He just knew I would take care of him.
His handler, Harry loved him dearly. He was a dog who saved his life and always had his back. His handler switched from being a police officer to a fire fighter at the time of their retirement . That required him to work 24 hour shifts and unfortunately no one could get close enough to K9 Ammo to take care of him so I agreed to take him at K9 Hero Haven and work with him. In addition to this, he has 2 daughters.
A message from Harry, his handler:
Ammo E. Ammo (as my daughters so affectionately dubbed him) was my partner at Wheeling PD. I could get super long winded talking about this marvelous pooch, but I’ll try to keep it short.
We did not get along at first. In fact, he bit me three times before we were able to come to an understanding that I was the alpha. Once that was established, we quickly became buddies. He was quirky, but fun. The most loyal of K9 dogs, Ammo was a partner I could count on. I never worried for my safety when we were on duty. I knew he would be right in the middle of any fight we encountered and that he would protect me, or die trying.
I enjoyed working with him and took pride in our accomplishments. Ammo had more street apprehensions than the rest of the WPD K9 unit combined. He lived to bite bad guys. It was his favorite. When we weren’t working, I enjoyed his company. He was funny like that. He was all business with every other human on the planet, but I had the privilege of knowing him as a regular dog… dare I even say the word “pet”. We would play ball, go for walks (scaring all the neighbors), and we even shared some meals. Ammo never took offense to me “dropping” steak on the floor.
I loved his fierceness, his loyalty, his confidence, and his character. I worked around a lot of police dogs over the years, but he was the absolute best. Not because he was my partner, but because he was that good. He made me look outstanding, but the truth was I was just his chauffeur. Ammo did most of the heavy lifting. I can recall an incident where we tracked a burglary suspect into the woods in the middle of the night. Ammo didn’t just locate the male offender and apprehend him, but also caused said male to sh*t himself… literally. I’m so glad we didn’t have to transport that guy post arrest . That was the intensity of my buddy, Ammo. The best of the best. Always 110% and 150 mph. He had two speeds: sleep and full send. There was no in between and I only caught him asleep once in the time we were together. He may have been part machine to be completely honest.
I’ve missed him since he retired. Circumstances did not allow us to remain together, but I was always so happy he had the opportunity to be placed at K9 Hero Haven. It was definitely a blessing for him and I will always be grateful to Anne and the staff of that wonderful facility. Ammo wouldn’t have been able to enjoy these last two years if it wasn’t for his little “retirement home”.
Ammo, I hope they have lots of your favorite toys and treats on the other side of rainbow bridge. If any dog ever earned the Gucci afterlife, it’s you, buddy. Love ya.
During the end of 2 years here, I was able to get him used to RaeAnn and Bill if I wasn’t around him. He still was protective of me even with being sick.
About a year ago he started getting sick. We tried multiple diets, medications and lots of blood work and tests. I was limited on some testing because of his aggression. I tried everything I could but he had chronic diarrhea, weight loss, hair loss, muscle wasting and difficulty walking. He also was showing signs of dealing with something neurological lately.
This was one of the most difficult decisions I have ever had to make. He still looks at me like “ let’s roll” or “ let’s go play ball”. His body is a shell of the dog he used to be although is mind and spirt are still the ”beast” he is. He is a true fighter in EVERY sense of the word.
You take in dogs to “save “ them but then they just wrap themselves around your heart and in the end, you wonder who saved who.
CWD Brian PEDD retired from Afghanistan in 2015. He enjoyed 18 wonderful months of retirement with his adoptive family.
CWD Jan came to K9 Hero Haven on 8/28/17 following his retirement from Afghanistan. He was adopted to Brittany and Nate on 9/21/17.
A message from his Mom & Dad:
It is with great sorrow we announce the passing of CWD Jan. He served his country proudly for 5 years, did 5 deployments to Afghanistan as a narcotics dog. After his 5 years served, he came to spend the rest of his 6 years of life with our family. He was bar none the best dog anyone could have ever asked for. He will forever hold a special place in our hearts, rest easy buddy you deserve it.
K9 Boris served as a police K9 for Asheville NC from 2006 -2015 then retired to K9 Hero Haven in PA. Boris found 21 suspects who would never been identified without him. Boris located one missing person who was dying from hypothermia and blood loss. He found over 200 pounds of narcotics valued over 1.5 million dollars. He found over $200,000 in drug money. He was imported from Holland and came to work for us in 2006-2015. Boris was a favorite around the area among not only Asheville Pd, but other surrounding areas for his loving personality and keen nose. Boris's popularity led him to be one of our ambassador dogs to help share the need to support retired working dogs.
K9 Suron served for 7 years working in the state of Michigan as a fugitive apprehension dog.
On 11/24/18, he was adopted by one of our volunteers, Stacey and her husband Chuck. Suron moved to Lewisburg, PA where he was loved and spoiled. Suron was Chuck's shadow and followed him everywhere. Suron was the kind of dog that even though you may have only known him for a short while, it felt like you knew him a lifetime.
Always with a smile on his face and love in his eyes, he is now pain free.
CWD Jan 48768
CWD Sato came to K9 Hero Haven in May of 2019 following his retirement from Afghanistan. He aged out of service at 9 years old.
He was adopted to Jennifer on 7/1/19. He enjoyed 3.5 wonderful years of retirement as part of his family. He was very loved and spoiled. He left knowing what love was.
A message from his Mom:
For three and a half years we were blessed to have this loveable goofball enjoying his retirement in our home.
He loved head scratches, snow, and popcorn, and his favorite pastime was fetching his ball and prancing in front of us with it, rather than "los" on command.
We are honored to have been chosen to give him a loving home and our hearts are broken now that he is gone. We know he is running free and feeling no pain or discomfort any more.
CWD Bjerka 13139
12/01/06 - 06/30/17
MWD Emile started his working career with the Air Force. In 2009 he transferred to police work and spent several years working in a Sherriff’s department in GA. He went by the name, K9 Alamo while there.
He came to K9 Hero Haven in July of 2019. He was heartworm positive, had skin and ear issues, prostrate issues and arthritis. He completed heartworm treatment, treatment for infections and was neutered. He also started medication for arthritis. Slowly he bounced back and started thriving. He was the nicest and sweetest dog.
This morning I made an appointment at the emergency vet and asked for x rays. She said he had lung cancer, a slightly enlarged heart and a lot of arthritis in his back. We expect the enlarge heart could possibly be from past heartworms. I made the decision to let him go. I didn’t want him to suffer as I could see even with pain meds twice a day... I could see he was struggling and in pain.
As I laid next to him on the floor to console him, he was licking away my tears to console me. He was just that type of dog.
K9 Sheera CF-50
CWD Sauzi 88752
CWD Radja 24388
K9 Bono CJ-41
01/09/09 - 04/24/17
CWD Lucrecia 47897
K9 Rakkar worked in the Asheville Police Dept. from August 2006 to October 2012. . While working he found 125 pounds of narcotics valued at $ 750,000. He also found $93,000 in drug money. He located 10 suspects. He spent his retirement years living in PA. as an ambassador for K9 Hero Haven. He attended military, law enforcement, school, and rescue and scout events until he passed away on 8/24/15. He will never be forgotten.
CWD Less 29012
02/01/09 - 04/20/18
CWD Mike EDD retired from Iraq in 2017. He spent his retirement living in central PA with a loving couple and another dog. Mike shared the same birthday as his adopter. Mike enjoyed proctoring exams, climbing mountains, attending weddings, tailgates, vacations, baseball games-- if a dog could be there, he came, if a dog wasn't supposed to be there, he'd sneak in.
CWD Benny 72103
CWD Hobo 14021
03/01/09 - 05/20/17
CWD Jed EDD came to K9 Hero Haven in June of 2017. He retired at the age of 11 from Afghanistan. He was adopted on 7/1/17 by Noreen and Ken in Delaware.
CWD Jed had a wonderful retirement after 9 years of working. He was able to spend 3 wonderful years of retirement with a loving family who dearly loved and spoiled him.
CWD Baron 85374
CWD Donna EDD served in Afghanistan. She was adopted and moved to Oregon where she peacefully got along with another dog and 2 cats. She was loved very much.
CWD Rek 93312
CWD Zana 24595
CWD Shippy EDD (AKA Craze) was paired up with her handler, Don and they served together for several years in Iraq. She was an amazing working dog and tested with 100 percent proficiency as an EDD.
She was adopted by her handler and they were able to enjoy some time together until he passed away. Craze then lived with her handlers father. K9 Hero Haven was contacted in September 2019 to help with Craze when the handler’s father needed to move into assistance living.
October 21, 2019, she became very ill and it was determined she had a cancerous mass on her liver and spleen. Although her time at K9 Hero Haven was brief, you touched many lives and will never be forgotten.
CWD Tyson 35932
06/01/08 - 12/17/20
CWD Loebes 04685
01/01/08 - 11/15/18
CWD Chaplin 73683
MWD Guszti PNDD was based out of Ft. Campbell, Kentucky. He was one week away from having his final retirement papers and joining the K9 Hero Haven Family of K9 Heroes. They attempted to remove a mass from his intestines just before letting him retire which resulted in a massive infection that took his life. His handler was not able to adopt him. We don't want him to be forgotten because he never got a chance to enjoy life on the couch.
CWD Dori 85383
CWD Spike EDD served his whole life in Iraq and retired at the age of 11. In Jan of 2017, once stateside, he came to K9 Hero Haven. He came with an aggressive behavior assessment and failing hips. I didn’t want kennel life to be the last thing he remembered, so we moved him inside so he could enjoy retirement in a home.
CWD Spike served as an ambassador for K9 Hero Haven until his health made it difficult to attend events. He loved going on outings when able and loved visiting with people. He loved treats and ice cream.
Once his hips failed he used his front legs and went everywhere he wanted at the house. We had a large dog door put in so he could still go outside if wanted. As time passed, he lost control of his bladder and bowels and would have accidents, but always had a gleam in his eye and a smile on his face. He was the happiest dog.
CWD Farkas 85448
04/02/10 - 01/21/21
CWD Alan came to K9 Hero Haven in 2019 after retirement from Afghanistan at 9.5 years old.
A message from his family:
Years ago, we adopted a retired CWD (contract working dog) named Alan. He very quickly became a loving member of our family. We spent a beautiful few years all together and we watched him relax into his retirement, going from pretty rigid in personality to a big cuddly teddy bear, who especially loved pets from girls and women (I guess he didn't see many of us in Afghanistan?). After a very short time, it just felt like he had always been with us. Over the past 6 or so months, we really started to notice his health deteriorating. It started with just a couple little things and quickly became more. We knew things were getting bad when he would ignore his food, as he was always ravenous in the past, and VERY food driven. Last week, we finally decided after months of medication and palliative care that it was time for Alan to cross the rainbow bridge. His medications were no longer helping and it just felt like he was telling us, "I'm so tired". So, after much deliberation, we decided to have him put to sleep. For those of you who have had to make this decision, you know how tough it can be. We had our vet come out to the house to help him peacefully pass in the comfort of his home. As the vet arrived and we were settling into a spot in the living room floor, Alan went over to his toys and grabbed the one pictured, a blue and purple kong ball. At first we didn't realize the significance. He passed peacefully, and his baby brother Clark was there for support.
There were a lot of tears shed, but ultimately, as painful as it was, we still knew it was the right thing for Alan. A day or two later, I was looking at these pictures and realized something; the toy that he went a picked out was the first toy he ever picked out with us at PetSmart. That very good boy wanted to take that special gift with him. We buried him with that toy. I couldn't help but think, that must have been his way of saying "thanks for everything"
We buried him right next to our Maggie in the back yard.
We are so grateful to K-9 Hero Haven for matching Alan with us, we can confidently say that we treasured every moment of his retirement, and even knowing the short time we had with him, we would do it all over again.
MWD Dino1 R598 TEDD
CWD Cindy retired from Afghanistan and came to K9 Hero Haven on May 9, 2018. During her career, she was nicknamed "Airborne" because this little powerhouse could fly! She was an amazing dog and was great at what she did.
She was adopted to on October 15, 2018, and moved to Massachusetts.
Cindy's passing was sudden and unexpected. She was such a sweet girl, loved everyone she met, loved to play fetch and bring back the ball when she felt like it, all squeaky toys were her favorite toys and there was no treat she didn't enjoy.
From her adopter, Bethany: "Last night my Cindy girl passed away and the world lost one of its greatest heroes."
CWD CHIRA retired from Afghanistan and came to K9 Hero Haven in August of 2015, after she aged out of service. She was in our first set of dogs we received from Afghanistan.
CWD Rocky came home with her on the same flight and I was able to track down his handler, Ryan and reunite them together as our first adoption. As it turned out, Ryan and CWD CHIRA's handler, Michael were friends and served together. He said "CHIRA is my friends dog" and he was able to connect us together.
CWD CHIRA was sick when she came home. She was first seen at a vet in PA then transferred to Red Bank in NJ for a brief stay. Once she was better and ok to travel, we were able to raise funds to fly Michael to PA and reunite them together after years of being apart.
Here is a message from Michael’s daughter, Madison:
I think the most important thing to him is that it be known that she was a true hero. And it was very important to him that once they got reunited she became his service dog and she never left his side.
Anne, Chira really saved my dad when you reunited them together and we are very thankful for you and your people for that. She was truly a member of our family and she loved my dad and our family fiercely!
CWD Larras 37412
12/09/07 - 09/19/17
CWD Loebes EDD served in Afghanistan. He spent his retirement in PA where he lived another dog & a family that loved him.
CWD Pady 47355
CWD Ali served in Iraq with his handler, Troy, from April of 2012 until Ali retired in Dec 2017. After Ali left Iraq, he came to K9 Hero Haven. Troy needed to head back to Iraq, so we placed Ali in a foster home with Bobbie, one of our volunteers. In June 2018, Troy returned stateside, and Ali moved to North Carolina where he enjoyed retirement.
Ali fought cancer for 15 months after he was diagnosed with stage 5 lymphoma. He was determined to beat it but it finally got the best of him. He never let it get him down, he still played and had fun with his many balls and Kong’s that he had.
CWD Layka came to K9 Hero Haven on 7/4/18 after her retirement from Afghanistan & Mali. She was retired early due to aggressive behavior. She was listed with a history of aggression with restraint/compulsion. She would tend to bite your hands when biting.
She had dental surgery not long after arriving. She came home on Antibiotics with sinus issues which turned out to be dental related. She healed up well after dental surgery.
At one point we were able to place her into an experienced foster home that can handle and help with behaviors. She did well but unfortunately she was not able to stay because the family needed to deal with personal & family medical issues.
We were able to try an adoption placement for her but unfortunately she did not work out due to her aggression.
She was able to spend almost 5 years of retirement at K9 Hero Haven. She loved it here and loved her toy and treat time. She loved going for ice cream. She was able to enjoy one last pup burger today.
A few weeks ago she was diagnosed with a fast acting cancer mass that was growing on her side. She was not a candidate for surgery because it was attached to the ribs. Within a few weeks, the mass doubled in size. At todays visit, her blood pressure was very high, so we decided it was best to let her pass with dignity and grace.
Thank you for your service CWD Layka. Fly high above the clouds without pain. you were dearly loved and will be great missed by everyone who knew you, especially RaeAnn. I know how much you looked forward to seeing her daily.
CWD Larras PEDD retired in October of 2016 after serving for years in Afghanistan. He was adopted in Dec of 2016.
CWD Larras had joint and hip issues. As time passed he continued to lose more of his mobility and eventually could no longer stand or walk.
He enjoyed a wonderful retirement with his dad as an only dog and was very loved and spoiled. He was always very close to him and stayed by his side. You couldn't ask for a more devoted dog. He will be greatly missed.
Thank you for your service CWD Larras.
CWD Hamad PEDD retired from Afghanistan and came to K9 Hero Haven in November of 2019. He was adopted to Neil and Prim on 3/7/20.
A message from his family:
The first day CWD Hamad came home with us, he made himself right at home; like he had always belonged here. The girls loved taking him swimming and to the parks to play fetch everyday. He had a routine everyday of dropping and picking up his sisters from school.
He attended every family events and gatherings and was never left home alone. We made sure to include this sweet hero in our daily activities and lives so, he knows that he’s deeply loved.
CWD Hamad has a Bigger than life personality and he has a beautiful heart. Hamad enjoyed the little things and loved to smile to let us know that he’s happy.
I will miss singing to him while I do dishes and tucking him in at night. We will miss his big smile that melts our heart because he knows he can do no wrong.
On the night before he had crossed the rainbow bridge, I had laid next to Hamad to comfort him through his pain. I cried for 6 hours straight next to this boy and sang to him. As I turned the flashlight onto his face to see him, he had been smiling for me in the darkness the entire 6 hours I’ve been crying. It’s his way of saying, “Mom, It’s time for me to go, but I’ll be okay!”
We are extremely blessed to have had this boy in our life and we are very thankful to Anne Yeager Gibbs for the opportunity to adopt such a majestic hero. Thank you Sarah Williams Duffy for fostering our boy. Lastly, Thank you K9 Hero Haven family for your love and kid words for this sweet boy.
We agreed to adopt these pups and to give them the best retirement (that was our goal) and we will continue to do so if we decide to adopt more heroes.
CWD Hamad you will always be in our hearts and always missed.. Thank you for your service sweet boy, you made us proud!!
CWD Moos starting working in Afghanistan in April of 2011. She retired in May of 2018. We picked her up directly at the airport on her flight home. She was always happy and smiling. She loved her treats and toys. She was “picky “with her food and always made me laugh how she wanted treats “before eating her meal.” She became an ambassador for K9 Hero Haven and attended a few events including York PA and Hopewell NJ. She loved people, she would get “mouthy” and make noises when happy and geared up. She loved going on rides and going in stores.
CWD Moos became a favorite here at K9 Hero Haven and will be missed so much by everyone here.
TCWD Cir 81696
01/11/10 - 01/10/20
CWD Kim 09534
CWD Tex 88631
02/01/10 - 02/18/18
CWD Less PEDD retired at 7.4 years of age. He served in Afghanistan since 2010. In June of 2016, he began his retirement at a ranch in Utah where he was loved and spoiled. He passed away from cancer.
CWD Exo retired from Afghanistan and came to K9 Hero Haven on 2/6/19. He was adopted to Eddie Charles and Amanda on 2/16/19.
CWD Exo had a wonderful retirement where he was very loved and spoiled. He spent a lot of time with Mom and Dad and was part of the family. He enjoyed many outings with his family.
Unfortunately, he was recently diagnosed with cancer and the cancer spread to his lungs, so they needed to let him pass with dignity and grace. He left with a beautiful send off to thank him for his service and the wonderful dog that he was.
K9 Verek came to K9 Hero Haven in February of 2019 after his retirement from a Sherriff’s Department in NC.
We had a physical scheduled for his neuter and for medical to be completed within a few days of his arrival. They realized he was heartworm positive at his visit. After he completed all his medical treatment he was then neutered. Due to the time frame of his medical treatment, he became a "resident" here for a while.
He was a great dog who loved working. He was very good at what he did. He loved nothing more than to “catch bad guys”. He listened well and loved his toys “more then life itself “.
He loved being in the toy box and was best know here at K9 Hero Haven as “toy box boy “. When on rec and play time, that is usually where you found him.
He loved his person and was very loyal to his person. He loved to give hugs and was very affectionate to the person he trusted.
I wanted him to have a chance at retirement, so as hard as it was to let him go, he was adopted to David and Liz on 12/24/21. He was able to enjoy retirement with CWD Laika who they also adopted from K9 Hero Haven previously.
He had an amazing retirement and was able to experience even more things then he did here. Even though his retirement was short, he enjoyed a very loving and spoiled retirement with his family. He also was able to enjoy some time at the beach.
A message from his Mom and Dad:
Verek got lethargic and his normal "old man cough" got much worse. After a visit to the vet ER, x-rays showed metastatic lung cancer and cardiac effusion. We're taking him home, making him comfortable and going to have a service come to euthanize him tomorrow. He still has a sparkle in his eye and his spirit is unbroken.
Celebrating our sweet mahogany boy. K9 Verek. In service 2/17/ 2009, end of watch 1855 hours, May 7, 2022. We are privileged that he trusted us during his brief retirement.
CWD Sato 47350
CWD Dino 17468
04/08/09 - 03/19/21
CWD Vox came to K9 Hero Haven in March of 2017. He was retired early from a working program as an EDD when he lost his work drive. He had surgery, then after surgery, he had no desire to return to work.
He was a retired working dog that had some issues adjusting into retirement life. He was adopted on 5/29/17 to his first family, but he had issues with one of the children. The children were older and we thought that maybe he reminded him of someone in his past.
He was placed with his second family, which was a couple, on 10/5/17 but was returned on 12/17/17 due to issues with the girlfriend handling him when his job required him to work long hours.
He then was placed in our foster home we had set up that had experience with more difficult dogs. He was doing well in foster.
He was adopted to Peggy, a retired K9 handler on 3/17/18. He was finally in his forever home. He was very loved and spoiled and helped her through the loss of her mother. He was such an asset to have by her side as she dealt with loss and adjustment. He was able to enjoy 5 wonderful years of retirement being part of a family.
A few weeks ago he was diagnosed with bone cancer, and he was in a lot of pain. She made the decision today to let him pass with dignity and grace.
06/01/10 - 11/25/20
K9 Diego came to K9 Hero Haven on 9/30/19 following his retirement as a police K9.
His handler was unable to keep him due to his family situation as he had small children. K9 Diego was not fond of strangers. He was also a difficult dog at the vet.
He came with a lot of medical issues as well as some aggressive issues. He was a dog who you had to go slow with as he needed to build up trust.
He was diagnosed positive with heartworm in March of 2018 and was treated prior to coming. We treated him for Ehrlichiosis when he arrived in Sept of 2019. He had a history of skin & ear issues. He also had pannus so he received eye drops daily here as well as special food and prednisone. He also had a history of digestive issues.
He seemed to be doing well overall but he passed away suddenly during the night which appears to be from bloat. He was fed in the am and ate his breakfast as usual without incident. Nothing seemed off or unusual throughout the day but unfortunately, he passed away during the night.
CWD Donja 15985
CWD Nero 85026
08/12/09 - 03/02/20
CWD Ringo 50419
07/01/07 - 10/11/17
CWD Kazan 48793
CWD Chaplin came to K9 Hero Haven on 1/13/21 following his retirement from Afghanistan. I picked him up at the airport 4 months prior to his 13th birthday. We set up his physical and decided to neuter him on 1/25/21 which was a blessing, because we realized afterwards, he had testicular cancer. The vet removed everything and completed an ablation, which also removed 2 other masses in that area. We decided due to age and good margins on removal, to just give him the best retirement we could.
He loved being the K9 Hero Haven “meeter and greeter”. He enjoyed being on the front deck the most and his favorite thing was watching for RaeAnn Koonsman to come every morning. He had an automatic alarm clock and started watching for her within minutes of her arrival time. If he loved you, he chewed on you to show affection. He also loved to give kisses. He loved attention and being “fussed” over. He was dog selective and preferred females. His favorites were CWD Zana, who he knew from overseas and CWD Trutel. He loved going for rides but preferred being home. Like me, he preferred not to “people” outside his closest, chosen ones.
He worked almost his whole life and it wasn’t the easiest most days. He will always be a hero in my eyes. He was an amazing explosive detection dog.
Yesterday he stopped walking and would struggle trying to stand up. He stopped eating and we encouraged him to eat small amounts and drink water. At almost 15.5 years old, we knew it was time to let him go with dignity and grace.
CWD Zeige 16682
06/01/09 - 08/10/18
CWD Norus came to K9 Hero Haven in March of 2017 following his retirement from Afghanistan.
He had a toe removed while here due to a tumor. He recovered completely and you would never realize he was missing one.
He was adopted to Stacy and Jason on 9/6/21 following staying in our rehabilitation program here. He had some aggressive issues when he first came here.
While in our rehabilitation program, he was able to attend so many events while here. He attended the mall event and had pictures with Santa Claus. He was on TV with Jen, “Good Day PA”. He loved spending time in the creek and spending time playing with his large plastic ball here. He also loved hiking and did a few 5Ks with Jen. He would strap on his harness and was ready to go.
Even though CWD Norus’s retirement with his family was brief and only about a year, he had such an amazing retirement. He was very loved and spoiled and loved being part of a family. He even took part in their wedding.
A message from his Mom:
He changed our lives in ways we didn't know a dog could. He made our family complete. Everywhere he went he was a superstar and people wanted pictures with him. Norus would lean up against them and get his pets and have that goofy Mally smile. He even made friends with our family cat which I didn't think was going to be possible as the cat was a perfect chase. He loved his cookies until the very end. His heart and soul could heal anyone. If you were upset, he knew it and protected you and made you better. We had him a short time less than a year but feel like he has been with us forever. He is our old man with his lip stuck on his tooth, our Norus Norus. Thank you picking us to be his Mom and Dad, we can't thank you enough.
K9 Liesel came to K9 Hero Haven on 3/29/22 at the age of 12 after her retirement from the Correctional facility she was working at. She was one of 5 K9s we picked up when they closed their K9 program.
K9 Liesel was slow to trust new people and she had to get to know you first. Most times she was better even with having 15- 30 mins of going slow with her.
She tend not to like being around other dogs. She was ok if they would ignore her or not get in her space.
She was a little spitfire pocket mal. I find most of my retired working dog females are “spitfires”. In my opinion, their confidence and dominance make them excel as working dogs, but I may me partial because of K9 Sheera being my first.
K9 Liesel loved going for rides especially when treats were involved. When I would feed her in the am, I would tell her that I had food for “Mommy’s Wiesel Wiesel” and she would dance with excitement. She loved to try and bury anything she didn’t want to eat right away. It was cute and funny to watch her.
She was doing fine yesterday but today she started with neurological issues. She was having balance issues, difficulty standing and bearing weight. I made a vet appointment with the emergency vet and they found issues with her heart. They felt the issue was compounded with multiple issues involved. They felt with her due to turn 14 in September, that it was best to let her pass with dignity and grace.
CWD Canibale PEDD retired from Afghanistan and came to K9 Hero Haven in Feb of 2020. He had some arthritis in his knees and spondylosis in his back. He was not fond of strangers, so I felt it was best for him to spend his retirement here in the retirement center at K9 Hero Haven. He tended to be antisocial except to his person or people that he knew and trusted. To me, he was sweet and would give kisses. He loved going on rides. Most times when meeting him out, he would appear to be shy and timid. He was definitely a dog, that had to earn your trust.
Today he had problems standing and appeared to have a brief seizure. I called the vet and brought him in right away. He had a large mass in his abdomen. They felt it was in his spleen and he was bleeding internally. When doing X-rays, the believed the mass was cancerous and had already started spreading to his lungs. His physical and bloodwork were good this year so it just goes to show you how quickly things change sometimes. After reviewing all the tests, they felt his best option was to let him pass. They didn’t think he was a good candidate for surgery being the cancer had already started spreading.
Thank you for your service CWD Canibale. You spent your life overseas working in Afghanistan. Fly high above the clouds without pain. You will never be forgotten.
CWD Branjo served several years working in Iraq. He retired and came to K9 Hero Haven on July 26, 2018. On August 6th, Branjo was scheduled to be neutered. He developed complications following surgery. He was transported to Watsontown Emergency Hospital at 7 pm. We received a call this am that he went into cardiac arrest around 5 am. They attempted CPR but were unable to save him. We believe there was an underlying issue with his lungs.
Rest easy CWD Branjo. I am so sorry your retirement was brief. Every one at K9 Hero Haven loved you. We will miss you my sweet boy.
CWD Rocky5 44192
01/01/09 - 06/28/19
K9 Raider was a wonderful police K9 and excelled at his job. It was a job he took seriously and loved doing. He won multiple awards and saved his handler’s life on multiple occasions. He retired to his handler after working and he was very loved and spoiled. Unfortunately there was an incident at the home where someone was bit coming on the property and he had no choice but to find another place for him to finish out his retirement.
K9 Raider came to K9 Hero Haven in January of 2019. He was difficult to try and place because of his protective nature then shortly after, he started with medical issues due to a degenerative spinal issue. At that point, I felt it was best that he spend his retirement at K9 Hero Haven.
Several days ago he started having extreme mobility issues and there were a few days he didn’t want to get up. He started breaking down in a few areas with pressure sores on his front legs. His quality of life was diminishing and it was time to let him pass peacefully without pain or suffering. His handler drove several hours to be with him today while he passed. He came early so he could visit with him. It was a beautiful and sad moment. I (Anne) filled my pockets with treats so I could keep telling him what a wonderful, sweet boy he was.
CWD Taffy came to K9 Hero Haven in May of 2021 after his retirement from Iraq. He was adopted to Paul and Judi in NJ on 5/19/21.
CWD Taffy loved playing fetch and spending time outdoors with his family. He loved going out on the kayak and loved doing anything where he was part of the family.
A message from his Dad:
Taffy was a wonderful dog, he was always excited to go play and spend time hanging out
CWD Taffy’s health started declining. He was having an issue limping with the one paw. He started having mobility issues and having problems standing and bearing weight. The vet felt he had a tumor in his neck and he wasn’t a candidate for surgery.
CWD Shippy 02864
05/18/08 - 10/21/19
CWD Blecky retired at the age of 8 years old and came to K9 Hero Haven in October of 2019. He served in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
CWD Blecky was reunited and adopted by his handler, Jason in November of 2019. He enjoyed a wonderful retirement with his handler and his family in Texas where is he was very loved and spoiled.
Here is a message from Jason:
With a heavy heart, retired CWD Blecky passed away last night from complications of cancer. Blecky was a great partner and friend. I am so glad Blecky was able to spend his retirement with my family and I. Rest easy Blecky! We will miss you and love you!
CWD Tyson retired from Afghanistan and came to K9 Hero Haven in February of 2016. He was adopted to Jason and Shay in Alabama on 7/18/16.
A message from Jason :
He was my best friend. I am glad we were able to give him a good retirement life. He was a huge part of our family and gave me stress relief after a hard day. You see after being in law enforcement for 18 years and still going strong, with all the stresses, Tyson gave me comfort and love and that I will always remember.
I always felt like we “just got each other”. I know it sounds weird, but he served and kind of did the same work I do. We had a common bond and we understood and could relate to each other.
CWD Kevin 00809
CWD Sheila 36789
CWD Donja came to K9 Hero Haven in 2015 following her retirement from Afghanistan as a PEDD.
She was adopted to Kirk and Missy on 10/31/15. She was able to enjoy almost 7 years of retirement being part of her active military family. She traveled and moved with them as they relocated throughout several states. She was always part of their family.
Unfortunately, she passed away before Kirk came home on his current deployment but she definitely put up a good fight trying to hang on so she could see him.
Her health was declining but she was a true fighter in every sense of the word. She had an amazing retirement filled with family and lots of love.
CWD Exo 47476
CWD Kevin came to K9 Hero Haven on 1/23/19 following his retirement from Afghanistan. He was adopted to Katie on 2/15/19. He recently celebrated his 14th birthday with a birthday party at his house with hotdogs and cake for everyone. He was able to enjoy 4.5 wonderful retirement years being part of a family, which he adored. She always had the best updates and wonderful pictures of him enjoying retirement life.
A message from his Mom:
Kevin came into my life shortly after becoming a paramedic in the Spring of 2019. Who could have guessed at the time that he would be my constant companion through a pandemic. Kevin loved everyone he met and it was because of him I now talk to all my neighbors as he would make visits on our daily walks by just marching up their porch steps to say, Hello!. He also made friends with whatever stranger was walking by and would run to them with the biggest grin on his face and put his head into their hand and give a big nudge and say “pet me!”
Kevin and I had many epic adventures, he loved the beach, going to the cabin to play in the creek and generally any time I left the house he had to follow behind. The first year in the creek he had to learn about water and was very confused when a kong just floated away. The tales of his adventures quickly took over my facebook posts as my post became known “as the adventures of Kevin” and he had many followers.
Kevin would go to grandparent’s camp on some of my long days of work where he was spoiled by homemade dog treats and homemade waffles every morning for breakfast. He loved being outside with Pop riding on the ranger and following him around helping him with the blueberry bushes and demanding attention by taking him his Kong and saying pet me.
A few weeks ago, we had the best time celebrating his 14th birthday and he was showered with all the attention and love. The past couple of days his legs just wouldn’t do what he wanted them to do, and we spent the weekend cuddling on the couch. I made a promise the first day I had him I would never let him suffer. So this morning I said one of the hardest good-bye’s to my K9 Hero. He will be loved and missed.
“While we are mourning the loss of our friend, other are rejoicing to meet him behind the veil.” -John Taylor
“Dogs have a way of finding the people who need them and filling an emptiness we didn’t ever know we had.” -Thom Jones
CWD Basca retired from Afghanistan and came to K9 Hero Haven in July of 2017. She was adopted to Annett in Florida on 8/16/17.
Annett was friends with Tim, her first handler. He was unable to adopt her due to working overseas but was very happy she could be placed with Annett.
CWD Basca had a wonderful retirement with Annett and was very loved and spoiled.
A message from her mom:
It is with heavy hearts that i have to inform you of the passing of CWD PEDD Basca; our hearts are broken. She passed peacefully with love around her. I’ve been in touch the last few days with her handler Tim and informed him as well.
I wanted to thank you for giving me a chance to give Basca a well deserved retirement the last few years of her life .. she will be missed in the community.. people knew her by name.. even on Facebook around the world. Again thank you Anne for entrusting me such a magnificent Hero. RIP Basca i miss you so much.
A message from Tim:
CWD 36745 Basca has left this world today 11 Feb 21.
I have worked many many K9s in my life & Basca was one in ten thousand, her relentless drive, her ability to read a situation, her constant situational awareness, she was the perfect example of a working K9.
Until we meet again...
CWD Stanley 47802
CWD Mad (AKA Odin) came to K9 Hero Haven in May of 2019 following his retirement from Iraq. He was retired just prior to his 7th birthday due to aggressive issues. After some time to decompress and some rehabilitation, he was adopted on 8/1/20 to Emilie & Neal in Ohio. He loved spending retirement being part of a family.
A message from Mom & Dad:
It is with a sad and heavy heart that I am posting the passing of my beautiful Odin. He came into our hearts and stole them.
He was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer a week ago and we had to make a decision that we were hoping we had more time.
He is no longer in pain and he gave me special days since his retirement.
CWD Kimbo 26048
CWD Jimy retired from Afghanistan and came to K9 Hero Haven in February of 2017.
He was aggressive with people and other dogs. His chart stated he “wasn’t to be trusted”.
CWD Jimy did well at K9 Hero Haven with all of the volunteers here as well as with friends of mine while in foster.
They nicknamed him … “Jimy, Jimy, Coco Puff”. He loved jumping straight up in the air. He could jump 6 foot straight up from a standing position on all fours. He just had the coolest personality. You couldn’t help but fall in love with him.
CWD Jimy was adopted to Trish on 2/15/20. He took right to her. He seemed to love woman.
Trish drove truck locally for a living and CWD Jimy rode with her daily and loved being with her 24/7. They always had play time in the yard after work with his toys, as he never lost his love for toys.
Several months ago, CWD Jimy was diagnosed with cancer in his front leg, in his shoulder area. They tried removing the leg to give him the best shot at a longer retirement life but unfortunately the cancer spread.
He was the sun, the moon and the stars to his Mom. She would of went to the ends of the earth … if it could have saved him. He was just that “type” of dog. He had a way of just warming his way right into your heart. He made you smile and laugh daily.
I would always use the saying, the more aggressive they are, the more you fall in love with them. They are the dogs that “teach you the most”.
CWD Kola PEDD retired from Afghanistan and came to K9 Hero Haven in December of 2018. She was adopted to Kate in AZ on 2/5/19.
A message from her mom:
With a heavy and broken heart, I lost my girl CWD Kola today. Kola was put to sleep in her home on her bed and died in my arms as I told her how much she was loved. She was a fighter and tried to protect me until the end. I am so grateful I was able to be her mom in the short time I had her. Tomorrow would have been her 12th birthday and I was planning her celebration.
It was this time two years ago when I made the long journey from Arizona to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania for “Mission Bring Kola Home.’ It was like I had waited my whole life for her. My life was complete with her in it. I always knew that she had my back even though I was the one in charge of protecting her. She was an Angel from God and the only thing that healed my heart when I lost my previous dog. The nation lost a hero today. Thank you beautiful Hero Kola for your service and sacrifice for this nation. Rest Easy.
Right now I feel as though I won’t be able to go on without her. I do find comfort in knowing she is no longer in pain and will Rest In Peace until I see her again. Thank you for allowing me the privilege of being her mom. She was my girl and will forever be a missing piece of my heart.
CWD Bico came to K9 Hero Haven on 9/ 5/16 following his retirement from Afghanistan. He was adopted to Bob and Kim on 9/19/16.
CWD Bico had an amazing retirement being loved and spoiled as part of a family. He was able to enjoy 6 wonderful years of retirement life.
A Message from his Mom and Dad:
CWD Bico PEDD:
EOW (End Of Watch): 9/6/2022
Our beloved Bico passed away yesterday, our hearts are broken. He was a special dog, a warrior, and most importantly our much loved “Bee.” During his 5 1/2 years at FOB Apache, Afghanistan he was considered a great asset and loved by the troops stationed there. Bico’s six years in our home after his retirement brought us great joy, his days spent playing constantly with our Labradors (Bonnie and Bella). His days were filled with much love from our children, and we spoiled him as much as possible!
Kim and I would like to thank Anne for the opportunity to adopt Bico, we were blessed to have him. We’d also like to thank his handler, Andries Olivier, who provided us with many wonderful stories and pictures of Bico during his working days in Afghanistan. Thanks much to both of you!
Bico…..forever in our hearts!
CWD Dori 60869
05/01/09 - 08/21/18
CWD Cir PEDD retired from Afghanistan in 2015. He was K9 Hero Haven’s very first retired working dog we received. He was adopted to Megan in May of 2019 and moved to Michigan. He was able to enjoy retirement as an only dog where he was very loved and spoiled.
From Megan: "Cir gave me such a great life and I’m so glad to have met him and give him a good life, too. You will be missed so much."
CWD Hiske 43679
K9 Kody came to K9 Hero Haven on 8/15/21 following his retirement with US Customs and Border Protection. He worked as an agricultural dog. He was an amazing working dog with an impressive work history.
He was immediately placed in foster with Matt & Megan due to some aggressive and behavioral issues. He was officially adopted on 9/29/21 when they knew that they “foster failed”. They both loved him and knew in their hearts that he was in his forever home.
A message from his Dad:
On August 15th, 2021, when I was least expecting it, I got to meet my buddy. I was pouring concrete in the last 2 kennels at K9 Hero Haven and Anne came back with the one and only beagle the rescue has taken in.
I was warned of his bite history and behavior, but we had to meet. He was scared and wouldn't take any food from me, so I knew something was wrong. Anne entrusted me to foster him and figure out his quirks. On our way back to the farm, we had to stop at burger king for some nuggies to get this relationship started right.
After a few months, everyone's hopes came true and he was officially a foster failure. He found his place at our farm and in our hearts. The first 10.5 months were the best. We had our behavior problems, but dad is more bull-headed than a male beagle, so we all got it figured out. Running and sniffing everything, especially chasing after deer right before dad had to leave for work.
In June 2022, our fast paced play caught up with us and we had a back injury. From that point on, we had to adjust our fun. Running turned to wagon rides and sniffing was limited because we had to keep the wounds and sores under control. Between the good days and bad days, we always had fun and love. With no improvements in function and his struggles getting harder, we had to make the hard decision to let him run free across rainbow bridge.
Thank you to everyone who supported us with his care and medical expenses. His retirement was short, but it was full of love and excitement.
He left knowing what love is.
CWD Mad 56794
CWD Blackie served on Victory Base Camp in Iraq from March 2010 to November 2011. He also served at the Consulate in Basrah, Iraq from May 2013 to August of 2014. Pictured below with his last Handler, Keith
Blackie was adopted in Feb of 2015 and passed away 2 years 4 months and 2 weeks after being scheduled to be euthanized due to medical issues. He was diagnosed with Villios Atrophy and had stopped eating and was doing poorly in the kennel environment.
Blackie became an Ambassador for K9 Hero Haven and attended many events including hospitals, parades, scouts, rescue events and schools. He was very loved and known by many. He loved meeting new people and was very sweet and lovable. He touched many people hearts over the last 2 years.
A few months ago Blackie's health began to decline again and we refrained from taking him to events as he started losing weight again. He lost 20 lbs over the last year with his appetite decreasing and struggling to keep weight on. Our vet felt Blackie's Villios Atrophy lead to cancer. We continued to try different foods to keep him eating, but today I could see him starting to suffer and I knew it was time to help him let go.
Blackie was checked after he passed by the vet. He had a large tumor at the bile duct which was entwined with everything. It was inoperable as the vet had predicted.
K9 Len started working at 15 months of age and was paired with his handler, Erik. Together they worked in Afghanistan as a great team together. K9 Len wasn’t the easiest dog and was not fond of strangers but through the time they worked together they developed an amazing bond and formed a wonderful team that learned a lot from each other.
When K9 Len retired from Afghanistan, Erik was still working, so we took in K9 Len here until Erik could come home, then we were able to place them back together.
K9 Len did very well here at K9 Hero Haven so when Erik had to return back overseas, K9 Len stayed here until he returned from overseas. He was not an easy dog to kennel and was not fond of new people but he always did well here especially for both RaeAnn and I.
About 2.5 weeks ago Erik needed to go for training so K9 Len came to stay at K9 Hero Haven while he completed his training.
He was due to go home today. While Erik was in route here this am, K9 Len started with difficulty walking and shortly afterwards, he couldn’t bear any weight on his back legs. Things transpired quickly.
Erik was able to transport him to the vet but they saw no improvement and with his diagnosis he would of had a very poor quality of life. Erik decided to let him pass with dignity and grace as the wonderful working dog that he was.
A message from Erik:
It absolutely breaks my heart to report that Len had to be put down tonight. Suddenly and unexpectedly, His back legs became paralyzed. He couldn't stand or walk. While he wouldn't let anyone close to him except me, he was a very loyal and loving dog and a great partner. He gave me 100% effort and did everything I asked him to with a wag in his tail. I thank God I was able to be with him. I love you buddy. Wait for me in heaven. We will be together again one day.
CWD Hendry 52897 was an 11 year old male springer spaniel that worked in Iraq for 7 years as a EDD . He was a great dog who loved to play fetch. He looked amazing in short or long hair do's but acted like a pup in the shorter hair coat. He was part of AMK9's mascot roaming the halls at HQ. His handler Elaine Carter recently returned overseas. He passed way due to bladder complications. He was one of many dogs helped by K9 Hero Haven.
K9 Rox came to K9 Hero Haven on 2/20/22 following his retirement as a correctional K9.
We completed his physical at our vet shortly after arriving and unfortunately, we were given the news that K9 Rox was in stage 3 kidney failure. We were told his time was limited.
Our goal was to give him the best retirement we could, even if brief.
He loved swimming in the creek, going on walks and meeting the new dogs when they arrived. He loved meeting dogs and making new friends. He was always very vocal and talkative.
He was a sweet dog who loved attention and affection. He loved treats and toys and would get really geared up when he saw a hose.
His last bloodwork showed he was anemic, and I knew his time here was getting shorter. We kept him on his kidney diet so unfortunately, he didn’t get ice cream or cheeseburgers, but I always had his favorite treats here that were on his diet.
In the last few days, K9 Rox started with vomiting and diarrhea. He didn’t want to eat. He was lethargic and just wanted to lay around. He let me know it was time, so I made the call today to let him pass with dignity and grace.
My favorite picture of him was the one taken with RaeAnn. It is how I want to remember him most. I also loved seeing how happy he was in the creek playing with toys and the other dogs.
CWD Goby EDD retired in July of 2016 and was adopted to Jack and Michele in PA on 10/23/16. Goby passed away suddenly at home. She was playing earlier in the morning and acting her normal self. Her passing was quick and unexpected. Thank you Jack and Michele for giving her a wonderful and beautiful retirement. I know she was very loved and will be greatly missed.
K9 Katrina C5E10
01/28/04 - 06/07/20
CWD Dori came to K9 Hero Haven in July of 2018 after her retirement from Afghanistan. She was adopted to Gene & Tracey on 7/6/18.
She was able to live almost 5 wonderful, amazing years of retirement with her family. In addition to being loved and spoiled by Mom & Dad, she was able to enjoy it with CWD Zeige and K9 Bob.
Gene & Tracey adopted CWD Zeige in October of 2016. After she had passed away due to cancer, they adopted K9 Bob on 9/30/18. K9 Bob was their 3rd adoption from K9 Hero Haven.
We treasure adoption couples like Gene & Tracey. We can’t thank them enough for opening their hearts and home by adopting retired working dogs and giving them all such an amazing retirement.
CWD Dori was diagnosed with a cancerous mass on her neck. She had good days and bad, but today they knew it was time to say goodbye and let her pass with dignity and grace.
MWD Dino came to K9 Hero Haven in Jan of 2017. He was one of the dogs that was sold and transferred. The police department made contact to return the dog as the handler was having aggressive issues with him.
MWD Dino had an aggressive history and was unable to retire with his handler, Brad due to him having a young daughter and living in an apartment.
MWD Dino had a history of being unpredictable and unfortunately couldn’t be trusted with some adults, small children and other dogs. He needs to build trust with people. At different times, I had thought about adopting him so he could enjoy retirement with a family, but in my heart, I just didn’t ever feel comfortable enough to do it, so he became a full time resident here.
I would call him “Jen’s boyfriend” because they bonded and loved each other. She would often put his harness on and go for a nice walk. He also loved swimming in the creek. They were in the Hopewell parade together on our float.
He was able to visit with his handler, Brad while he was here. They had served in Afghanistan together. He was able to follow his retirement and enjoy pictures of him as we kept him updated. His ashes and paw print will be returned to him.
MWD Dino was a very healthy dog and actually didn’t have any on-going medical issues. He just recently had his yearly physical and was found to be in great health for a dog who was 12.
He passed away this morning in his sleep suddenly. I did order a necropsy to be completed, to hopefully find answers. I am the type of person that I do better with closure, otherwise I tend to always be “wondering“or constantly double guessing myself.
CWD Sniper 48626
11/16/09 - 12/01/18
CWD Matys PEDD was retired from Iraq and Afghanistan. While Matys was relaxing, his human was still serving in the military. Thank you both for your service and for giving CWD Matys a wonderful retirement home where he was loved and spoiled.
1111/25/08 - 07/11/20
CWD Senna came to K9 Hero Haven in October of 2015 after her retirement from Iraq. She retired at 6.5 years of age. She was adopted to Brandon on 10/31/15. She was one of our first adoptions. CWD Senna was able to enjoy 7.5 years of retirement with her family. She was able to celebrate her 14th Birthday in April.
A little bit of history about Brandon:
Brandon joined the Army at 18 right out of high school in 2005 and joined with a Ranger contract. He attended basic, airborne school, and the Ranger Indoctrination course at Fort Benning, Georgia. He was assigned to 3rd Ranger Battalion at Fort Benning. Brandon conducted 7 combat deployments, 5 to Afghanistan and 2 in Iraq. Part of his time in Ranger Regiment and was trained to be a Canine handler. He did 2 combat deployments as a MPC (Multi-purpose Canine) Handler. He medically retired from the Army in December 2012.
CWD Ciko 4381
12/08/06 - 01/28/21
CWD Nico enjoyed retirement briefly before he passed away. You will never be forgotten.
CWD Roscoe 99309
CWD Hiske retired from Afghanistan and came to K9 Hero Haven in the fall of 2015. She was adopted to Greg and Tina in Indiana on November 14, 2015. She was one of K9 Hero Haven’s first adoptions.
She became part of their family and was nicknamed “ Miss bites alot” because she wasn’t fond of strangers and people she didn’t know and like.
She was very loved and spoiled and had an amazing retirement where she was blessed to live 13 years.
You adopt a dog that takes you on a journey. You make friends you wouldn’t have normally made. You find they bring you down a path in life, you wouldn’t have went down without having her in your life. If you ever get blessed to give a retired working dog a retirement, sometimes you are lucky enough to meet that ONE dog that changes your life forever. She was one of those dogs….
A message from dad ….
Good bye my old friend! The flag that covers you was the flag presented to my dad when he retired from the navy. It flew over the Arizona Memorial which only befitting for you. We started our first journey with you always in the lead. Once again you lead the way on our next journey. I am honored to have had the opportunity to be at the end of your leash.
CWD Rex5 11273
CWD Buck PEDD retired from Afghanistan at the age of 8. He was adopted in Oct of 2017 and lived out his retirement in Kansas. Thank you for service. Rest easy CWD Buck.. you will never be forgotten.
K9 Apollo came to K9 Hero Haven on 3/29/22 after the K9 Program closed in the Correctional Facility he was working at.
K9 Apollo was a dog who had to learn to trust. He had to slowly develop trust with his “person”. He was fear aggressive at times and he was not fond of strangers. He also was not fond of the vet. We felt he was not a candidate for adoption.
He was able to enjoy a year of retirement at K9 Hero Haven. RaeAnn became his person and he loved seeing her daily. He did amazing with her.
He was diagnosed with Pannus several years ago so he was on daily eye drops. Two or three days ago he started with some difficulty walking. He started meds but then yesterday his appetite started to decrease. Today he had blood in his urine so we made a vet appointment as we knew something was definitely wrong. The vet felt he had myopathy and was unable to empty his bladder. She felt there was a mass or tumor causing both the bladder and spinal issues which were causing the mobility issues with his back legs. We decided it was best to let him pass with dignity and grace since he was in pain (even with medication) and we had no treatment options for him.
CWD Diego 06054
05/01/09 - 04/14/20
CWD Jimy 88712
03/31/06 - 03/25/20
K9 Rex, EEE, retired from US Customs and Border protection in EL Paso, TX in 2015. He was retired due to arthritis. He was adopted by another officer when his handler couldn’t adopt him.
He came to K9 Hero Haven in July of 2016 after he bit a child. He was the ONE dog that I had to dock his tail because he was a constant spinner, in and out of a kennel and he would constantly bust his tail open.
He did not like strangers. He did not like anyone coming in the home. He was a dog that you had to earn his trust and he didn’t trust easily.
Today he ate his breakfast and was doing fine. In the afternoon he seemed just a “little off” but was eating and drinking with no issues. There was nothing out of the normal beside him not being “himself “. Around supper time, he had a brief seizure, took his last breath and passed away.
I tried to get an exam to see if they could see exactly what happened or what went wrong, but the vet was not available to do it. If I had to guess, It seemed like a brain aneurysm or his heart. He was here one moment and gone the next.
CWD Stanley came to K9 Hero Haven in November of 2019 after working in Afghanistan. He was adopted to Val & Scott on 12/14/19.
He enjoyed a wonderful retirement being very loved and spoiled. He loved being part of a family.
A message from his Mom:
It has been a very difficult few days.
It was decided to let Stanley pass quietly and with respect.
Stanley retired in December 2019 and we got very attached to him very quickly.
His gentle quietness took a little getting used to. He only ever barked when in the car for a ride. Stanley was very stealthy, so if you turned directions quickly you might run into him, not knowing he was right there beside you. Stanley loved his walks and catching soccer and Chuck-it balls.
People would ask me if he was a wolf. I would have to laugh. I guess it was the length of his hair… maybe it was that intense stare that he had at the beginning.
We were very lucky to start spending all of our time with Stanley beginning in March 2020, thanks to the pandemic, as my husband and I were able to work from home.
He wanted to always be with his people, but didn’t like hugs and kisses. He had to learn to endure them and we made up for it by spoiling him in other ways that he enjoyed.
His calmness and easy-goingness will be impossible to find again. He was one in a billion. I cherished the time I got to spend with Stanley. I will love him and miss him forever.
CWD Kelly2 PEDD retired from Afghanistan. She was reunited with her handler, Bill in September 2018 and moved to Arizona.
In 2010 Bill was contacted by AMK9 about a position as K9 Handler in Afghanistan. He was sent to Hill Country Dog Center in San Antonio, TX for training. It was there that he was matched up with his new K9 Partner, CWD Kelly.
In mid-2011 Bill left Afghanistan and returned to the states. Kelly was assigned a new handler to continue her work until 2018 when she retired. On September 6, 2018, Bill was put in touch with Anne Gibbs of K9 Hero Haven as CWD Kelly was finally retired and back in the states. – and in a few short days, they were finally reunited.
From Bill: "She is a War Hero, she was my partner, she is my best friend, she is part of me forever!"
CWD Kyran 73693
CWD Kelly served in Iraq and Afghanistan. She started working in Afghanistan where she served with CWD Singa. Kelly later went onto Iraq and CWD Singa stayed in Afghanistan.
CWD Kelly came to K9 Hero Haven on 11/1/17 after her retirement from Iraq. Both Singa and Kelly stayed in the retirement center together. You could tell they remembered each other.
CWD Kelly was nicknamed “Coffee Tax Kelly”. I included the picture from overseas. You had to give her a treat to get access to the coffee lol. She was a huge favorite in Afghanistan and was often called their “Hero Dog”.
Her handler loved her so much but unfortunately, he was unable to adopt her. We always stayed in contact with each other over the past few years following her retirement.
A message from her handler:
Anne thank you for letting me know. It is a sad day. She was a part of my life to this day. My wife always accused me of loving Kelly more than her. She will always be the best dog I ever had. This is hard for me. I hoped this day would never come. Every morning I looked at your Facebook page to get a glimpse of her. Maybe I can move on now. Thank you for looking after her. She was my life.
A message from her kennel master in Afghanistan:
CWD (contract working dog) Kelly was a PEDD (patrol explosive detector dog) who worked in Afghanistan for the DOD (department of defense). Kelly had the nicest, goofiest, good-natured character of all the K9s in the kennel there. She was always happy and ready to work and greet everyone. When it came time to work with her handler, South African Wappie (Willem) Pretorius the switch came on and she was focused on finding explosives or conducting bite work.
The majority of her career was spent at FOB (forward operating base) Spin Boldak in the Kandahar province of southern Afghanistan on the Pakistan border in an area called the Valley of the Souls.
Wappie and K9 Kelly could be found running around on the FOB almost daily during their off time with Kelly in harness pulling Wappie on his off-road skateboard. Each morning before shift or training Wappie would have his door to the CHU (combat housing unit) opened, and brewing coffee for all the handlers. Kelly would be standing at the door wagging her tail with her happy face on and her burlap bag marked Coffee Tax, collecting dog treats in lieu of the cups of coffee being handed out.
Wappie was always creating water features and small green areas to cheer everybody up due to the heat and otherwise austere surroundings. Kelly and Wappies attitude brought a humorous and peaceful atmosphere with their attitude and antics.
Kelly was one of the great ones, those heroes like her are a few and far between. K9s are called on to travel to far off lands, work to save lives, and give the humans that they are in contact with a friendly face, a loving smile, and a comforting wag of their tails.
Rest in Peace Kelly, you did your duty, cross the Rainbow Bridge, and go chase some kongs with your kennel mates who have gone before you.
Art “Boomdog” Cason
Kennel Master-Iraq & Afghanistan 2010-2015
From the moment CWD Kelly landed from Iraq, I fell in love with her. She came out of her crate and sat “pretty” and the rest was history. I brought her home and just knew she was staying with me.
She came to live in the retirement home, crate free and became an ambassador for K9 Hero Haven as well as my sweet, baby girl. She was my shadow and followed me everywhere. As she aged and her arthritis got worse, she loved laying in the bathroom. That was her favorite place to lay.
The last year she stayed home more and wasn’t as fond of going to events. She was happy here. She loved her “babies”. Her “stuffies” were her favorite toys. She would be vocal and ask for them when she wanted them. If you took her shopping, she was getting a new “baby”.
Recently CWD Kelly started having problems breathing. Her lungs were clear and they determined it to be neurological. They expected a lesion on the brain stem or the area of the brain that controlled her breathing.
Watching her struggle to breathe when she had episodes, was heart wrenching. The vet was worried she would die while trying to breathe during one of the episodes. Some of the episodes were 15-40 minutes long that she would be struggling to get oxygen in her lungs. I couldn’t help but wonder if it was happening when I wasn’t there with her. I have never felt more helpless not being able to help her.
I was monitoring her after running her to the vet this week following an episode. She had an episode last night and today. I made the decision to let her pass with dignity and grace. She enjoyed one last pup burger and a new “baby”. I held her as she passed telling her what a good girl she was.
I could only post 80 pictures so I tried to pick out my favorite. I have so many pictures of her.
Thank you for your service CWD Kelly. Fly high above the clouds without pain. You were dearly loved and will be greatly missed by everyone who knew you, especially your handler and I. I promise you baby girl, you will never be forgotten.
CWD Cor 20115
MWD Emile N466
12/12/07 - 03/30/20
04/20/08 - 01/15/20
CWD Kety EDD retired at the age of 10.6 from Afghanistan. She was adopted in 2015, just a few weeks after returning state-side. Kety settled in beautifully to her new home with new toys, where she was part of a family, and was very loved and spoiled.
CWD Zoro came to K9 Hero Haven in April of 2018 after serving in Afghanistan. He was retired early because he was having workability issues and was becoming aggressive. He was a working dog that I took in to save.
I had hoped to adopt CWD Zoro into a retirement home, but he was unpredictable at times and aggressive. So, I felt it was best that he spent his retirement here at K9 Hero Haven.
He loved most people but he definitely seemed to favor the “ladies” over men. He was a ”ladies” man and you could see him work his charm when around a female. He just seem to light up when a female would pay attention to him. He definitely seemed to relax more with women.
He loved rec time and he carried his toy 24/7. He especially loved his Goughnut . It was definitely his favorite toy. Although he loved playing with large sticks, jumblers and kongs as well. He loved to get dirty and play in the rec yard.
He spent a lot of time with Jen when she was here working in the kennel and they became “friends”. He was a favorite of hers and I am sure he felt the same way.
In the last 2-3 days he started with an eye issue and we were watching it. It was just a little off. He was doing ok otherwise.
Then Saturday and Sunday, he didn’t seem to want to eat so I took him to the emergency vet. They felt after bloodwork and x rays he had an enlarged heart and was having blood pressure issues. The vet felt the pressure caused from the heart issues was causing the eye issues.
We left with oral medication, eye ointment and antibiotics but what we were dealing with was very fast acting and he continued to decline drastically. He returned to the vet this am. He didn’t want to eat and was very lethargic. We could not get medication in him, even trying to put it in his throat. He went from being a perfectly healthy dog to going blind, not eating, not wanting to walk. What I found even more surprising is that he just had his yearly physical and lab work 1 month ago and everything was good.
The vet did more tests today. Multiple organs were effected and this was spreading extremely fast. He was declining quickly. We decided it was best to let him pass with dignity and grace.
I am extremely grateful for Jen Bennick yesterday helping me at the emergency vet. Today she came back out here to sit with him and spend time trying to give him meds and get him to eat after we all tried with no success.
She went to the store on her way here and brought different meats, baby food, gravy, small trays and anything she could try to help him to eat and try get meds into him. When that didn’t work, she offered to do the vet run to take him back in so she could stay with him.
She transported him back to the vet today and was able to stay with him while he passed.
She was able to give him the greatest gift of time by spending time with him during retirement and being with him as he passed away.
CWD Branjo 58645
05/28/10 - 08/07/18
On July 8, 2016, Lorrence R. "Larry" Porter passed away. Larry proudly served in the United States Marine Corp. He was discharged as a Lance Corporal. K9 Hero Haven would like express our deepest sympathies for the Porter family in their time of loss. We also would like to thank them for their support of our mission by asking that donations be given in lieu of flowers. Larry was a huge animal lover. Mr. Porter, thank you for service to our country and support for our mission. You will always be remembered.
MWD Guszti N801
CWD Kelly 47782
CWD Mike 36984
11/25/06 - 11/13/19
CWD Rex retired from Afghanistan and came to K9 Hero Haven in September of 2018. He was adopted to Lorie and Eric in PA on 10/26/18. Rex had a wonderful retirement with his family where he was very loved and spoiled. He loved being close to his family, including time on the family boat. Rex's health has been slowly declining and today the family made the decision to let him pass with dignity and grace.
CWD Alex EDD retired in March of 2016 from Iraq. He had 3 wonderful years of retirement in a loving home where he lived crate free with lots of love and daily treats. Alex had the best retirement a dog could ever hope for.
Thank you for your service CWD Alex. You are loved by many and will be missed.
Service Dog Chase
11/04/05 - 10/26/18
CWD Tayros 47911
CWD Bony 47924
CWD Jed 49389
06/01/06 - 06/03/20
CWD Rex2 48744
03/01/08 - 12/29/16
CWD Matt retired from Afghanistan and came to K9 Hero Haven in September of 2016. He was adopted to Steve and Dennine in Florida on 10/14/16.
He was a great family dog and went everywhere with them. He had a happy, fun filled retirement life. He enjoyed traveling with his family.
CWD Matt had surgery a few weeks ago and had difficulty recovering from surgery. He recently stopped eating and was having a difficult time. Today they decided to help him pass as they didn’t want to see him suffer.
CWD Doxa 64804
CWD Rek retired from Afghanistan and came to K9 Hero Haven in May of 2016. He was adopted to Laura on 6/20/16 once she returned home from Afghanistan.
Laura met CWD Rek in Afghanistan and fell in love with him. She had asked to adopt him so we kept him here at K9 Hero Haven until she could return home from her job overseas.
CWD Rek had an amazing retirement where he was her best friend and helped through adjustments and changes over the past 5 years. They have been through a lot together.
A message from Laura:
RIP Rek Cole 17 Sep 2009- 01 July 2021
Rek crossed the rainbow bridge an hour ago. He was an amazing dog and the best thing that has happened to me. This was the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make. From Afghanistan to KY to TN then to FL and now in heaven he will always be in my heart.
CWD Matys 48716
05/01/09 - 03/26/19
CWD Nancy PEDD retired from Afghanistan and came to K9 Hero Haven in June of 2016. She retired at 8.9 years of age. She was adopted to Karl on 12/10/16.
She enjoyed a wonderful and spoiled retirement where she became his best friend. She enjoyed hiking and loved spending time outdoors with her Dad.
A message from Karl:
It breaks my heart to tell you that Nancy passed away tonight. She was the sweetest and best friend I could ask for. We just celebrated her 14th Birthday a couple weeks ago. She left this world quickly and relatively peacefully today. Thank you so much for placing her with me, she’ll never be forgotten and loved forever.
CWD Rambo 34249
K9 Dex CF-75
09/09/05 - 02/14/20
CWD Ida 56351
CWD Johnny came to K9 Hero Haven on 3/29/17 after his retirement from Afghanistan. He was adopted to Rebecca and Mark on 6/9/17.
CWD Johnny was able to enjoy close to 6 wonderful years of retirement as part of his family. He was very loved and spoiled.
He was able to enjoy part of his retirement with his sister, Maya who they adopted as a puppy. She has passed away prior to him due to a mass on her spleen/ liver.
In February he was blessed to enjoy a 14th birthday party from his Mom and Dad.
A message from his Mom:
My heart has broke again. We had to say goodbye to our handsome soldier boy CWD Johnny this morning. He was a soldier fighting for this country for 8 years. And a handsome pup for 6 years. He will be missed by the few who knew him......... Fly high our handsome boy. Go play with your sister.
Service Dog Chase was rescued from a kill shelter in North Carolina. He was trained In Diabetic Alert. A volunteer there contacted us asking for help with him. We transported him to PA and placed hime in foster with Sarah,a K9 Hero Haven volunteer.
Chase is such an amazing dog that he not only became a foster failure, he was also an ambassador for K9 Hero Haven. He loved attending events.
CWD Bross 08606
03/28/08 - 03/17/18
CWD Klara 52697
06/14/07 - 07/01/19
CWD Pady retired from Iraq and came to K9 Hero Haven in July of 2019. He was adopted to Jessica & Mike on 7/9/19. CWD Pady was very loved and spoiled in his 2.5 years of retirement. He was part of a family and loved his 2 little girls dearly. His spirit was strong, but his body was worn out.
A message from his Mom & Dad:
Tonight we said goodbye to our brave, handsome warrior CWD Pady. For those who do not know, Pady was a true Soldier, serving 9 years in Iraq as an EOD (Bomb Sniffer). Two weeks after he got stateside, we made the trip to get him! It was love at first sight. We watched you blossom and discover so many new things like a pup! Pizza, the grass and even snow! I still remember the first snow fall and he couldn’t stop licking the ground, air, himself. You were such a brave and beautiful boy, Sir Padwin. Two years was not long enough, but Thank You for coming into our lives, no matter how short. Thank you for letting us love you, thank you for being just so wonderful, kind and sweet! He was given a proper soldiers goodbye..We love you Bubba boy. We salute you and will cherish each and every memory! Run free Buddy, love you furever in our hearts!
Thank You Dr Alexandra Tyzzer Patrick and Patti McClintock and the rest of the VCA staff for all you did tonight, we appreciate you all!
Thank You Anne Yeager Gibbs for choosing us to be his final retirement home and loving him!
CWD Fox 85219
CWD Vox 90142
CWD Brando PEDD was adopted in May of 2014 after he retired from Afghanistan. I adopted him prior to starting K9 Hero Haven. He was a more difficult placement because he was “acting aggressive" or “acting out” when people would approach his kennel.
He retired early after he hurt his back leg while searching overseas. He loved working especially “apprehension”. He was great at doing patrol work and would of most likely have aged out if he wouldn’t have gotten hurt. He was one of the best working dogs I have ever had.
He was very smart. He could open latches and doors, bust out of most crates and he would play ”keep away” if he didn’t want come in from the yard while working.
We were told a story that while in the kennel, that one night he open his kennel door and got out then let other dogs out with him. He had the best working stories and he could make you laugh daily.
He gave me 8.5 years of fun, laughter, and happiness. He gave me a few tears as well lol, like when he got upset, he was inside the van while we were outside of it and tore out all the seatbelts out of the van. He then started tearing up backpacks and blankets next. He definitely let you know “if he wasn’t happy“ lol. He would answer you when you talked to him and if he wanted something “he would bark a certain way”, especially if not happy, I called it “bitching” lol.
He was 100 percent Belgian Malinois in every sense of the name. He gave me the best 8.5 years of being with me through so many changes in my life. He was a dog that I always knew “had my back”.
A few years after retirement, he developed spindle cell cancer in the joint of his front leg. Luckily it was the opposite side of the injured back leg, as he had to have it amputated. We tried surgery first to remove the cancer, but it was unsuccessful.
CWD Brando would have turned 15 years old on January 1st. He is a true fighter in every sense of the word. He had the heart and courage of a lion.
In the past few weeks, he started with problems breathing. The last few days he could no longer get up on his own. He started struggling even with increasing his meds up, so I made the call to let him pass with dignity and grace. His body was just simply worn out.
He was such an inspiration to everyone he met over the years.
01/07/08 - 12/26/20
Storm retired from Afghanistan and came to K9 Hero Haven in May of 2016. He was adopted to Zak on 5/30/16.
CWD Storm had an amazing retirement where he was very loved and spoiled. He was able to enjoy being part of a family.
A message from Zak :
Hey Anne, apologies for the late night message but I couldn't find a better time for bad news. Storm has passed and is now standing guard at the Pearly Gates alongside his fellow Marines.
I had to make the difficult choice to put him down on the 24th of May. He had a bad seizure and the vet was afraid that his hip/back degeneration had started affecting his brain.
I made a promise to him and myself that I wouldn't prolong any amount of suffering for his or my own sake, and made the decision to allow him to go out with some dignity and pride.
Thank you for trusting his wellbeing to me for his last few years. He truly saved my life and I'd like to think I gave him a good retirement. He was the best boy and I'll never forget him.
CWD Donna 64700
02/12/08 - 09/12/18
CWD Paco 47545
K9 Katrina retired from Florence Correctional Facility in 2013. I (Anne Gibbs) flew to AZ to pick her up and flew back with her on the plane with me.
She was an amazing narcotics detection K9 and came in 2nd out of 75 dogs in competition. She holds the record of one of the best dogs that ever worked in Florence Correctional Facility.
She attended many events as an ambassador for K9 Hero Haven and loved meeting people. She was always just the happiest dog. She loved cleaning all the other dogs and was like a “mother” to all of them.
She was a dog who still continued to work with cataracts in both eyes and having a toe amputated. She was just amazing at her job and loved working. Nothing seemed to slow her down.
When I picked her up in AZ, she found part of a joint in the hotel parking lot. Her nose was always searching and checking. She never lost her drive. Jen, one of our volunteers, nicknamed her “hurricane “ she was always full of energy. She was a force of nature!
Tonight at the vet, the x rays showed the front leg completely broken. They suspected microscopic bone cancer. Her only option was putting a rod in the leg and her bones were just to fragile and they felt it would not give her any more time. At 16.5 her body was tired and worn out. She was in pain and it was just time to let her go.
Fly high above the clouds my sweet girl without pain. Thank you for your service and the love you always showed me during your 7 years of retirement. I was truly blessed the day I picked you up. I couldn’t of asked for a better dog. You will never be forgotten K9 Katrina .
CWD Layka 09967
02/09/15 - 09/17/16
CWD Bjerka PEDD served in Afghanistan from June 2011 to March 2014.
She was adopted in 2014. She was diagnosed with arthritis at the time of adoption. She became an Ambassador for K9 Hero Haven and attended many events at schools, churches, rescue events, scouts and parades. She loved going for rides.
Several months ago , she stopped attending events as her health was declining. She had bouts of vestibular disease as well as she was very arthritic. She was on injections and pills. In the last few weeks she lost control of her bladder and bowels. She would fall over and struggle standing up. Most days lately, I picked her up as she couldn't get up on her own. She could no longer walk to where she used to eat in the kitchen. The last few days, I held her food bowl for her to eat. She started suffering and I felt it was time to help her pass.
She was a sweet, mellow, happy dog who became my shadow when her health was better. She was very loved and will be greatly missed.
Thank you for your service Bjerka. Rest easy our sweet girl!
03/07/11 - 04/01/21
CWD Matt 04157
01/01/09 - 02/20/21
CWD Cinda 75460
CWD Jan 05009
CWD Rex 4
05/01/08 - 09/08/20
CWD Storm2 27140
CWD Kola 40432
02/01/09 - 02/04/21
CWD Bigki 94679
CWD Lucrecia retired from Afghanistan at 9.3 years of age. She came to K 9 Hero Haven in Oct of 2019. She was adopted to Jason & Annabel on Nov 17, 2019.
She had a wonderful retirement and was able to enjoy lots of beach time, hiking and water play time. She was able to spend her retirement as part of a family enjoying the outdoors and enjoying a wonderful, active life.
She loved spending time with CWD Nikki who they also adopted from K9 Hero Haven.
A message from her Mom & Dad:
With very sad and heavy hearts, we say goodbye to our sweet Lucrecia. We’re so happy that we got to be your mom and dad for a short while. We hope we gave you a good retirement. Thank you for your service. Rest easy now and say hi to Samantha for us
CWD Bear 54868
K9 Kay C came to K9 Hero Haven on 6/26/19 following his retirement from US Customs & Border Patrol in AZ.
Bill, one of our handler & dog reunions, help me transport K9 Kay-C to K9 Hero Haven. Bill and his retired working dog, CWD Kelly will always be very special to me because of that. It would have been much more difficult to work out the logistics, without his help.
K9 Kay-C was not approved for adoption so he lived here at K9 Hero Haven in the retirement center for the past 4 years. He had aggressive tendencies especially at the vet or when any procedures were done to him.
If he loved you…. He loved you, and if he didn’t like you, he didn’t. He was definitely a dog who chose his “people”.
He was a great working dog. I used to tell him that, not every working dog could have an awesome working career like you did and get to fly in a black hawk while working.
There were only certain people Kay-C would listen to. I went to all of his vet appointments. He would listen to me and I would tend to deal with him when he didn’t want to listen to someone.
I always believed in my heart, that the more difficult the dog, the more they will teach you. You just have to “listen” to them. In the process, it is hard not to fall in love with them. More than anything else, the difficult dogs will teach you patience and understanding.
You taught me a lot Kay-C. You were one of the dogs that gave me a greater love for the more “difficult dogs”.
Sheera retired from US Customs and Border Protection in 2012 after working for several years at the Cal/ Mex border. She was retired to her handler, but he was unable to keep her. He tried several homes, but it wasn’t working out. Mike, another handler who works with her handler, stepped in to help find her a home. She was dog aggressive especially with little dogs. She was sassy and stubborn and not an easy dog.
I was ecstatic to be chosen for K9 Sheera’s retirement home. She was my first Belgian Malinois and my very first retired working dog. I spent a lot of time slowly working with her to get along with other dogs. At times she was a handful, but she was my sidekick and we became best friends. She would follow me everywhere and would always be found by my side. I would often ask myself how I could be worthy of such “devotion “.
I started realizing how many more of these dogs were out there that needed a place to retire. So I started a retirement home and took in a few retired working dogs that had medical and behavioral issues which made them less likely to be adoptable. I wanted to give them a safe place to go after years of working.
Because of Sheera, I started K9 Hero Haven, a non profit working dog rescue in August of 2015. Through Sheera’s legacy, we adopted over 350 retired working dogs into homes. We were able to save close to 500 retired working dogs between the retirement home and the kennel.
Sheera became one of the best ambassadors for K9 Hero Haven. We visited schools, churches and nursing homes. We attended so many events in the 10 years of her retirement life. She slept in bed with me and loved going on outings while her health was good.
Over the past 10 years she survived spindle cell cancer on her front leg. She had a perforated ulcer in which she became septic due to the medication from the cancer. She has survived bloat and also 2 surgeries for tumors, which one surgery was just in the last few months. She fought and beat everything. I have never seen such strength. She was a true fighter. It was why I always felt there was nothing better then a female Belgian Malinois for strength, endurance and protectiveness.
She recently had her physical and her lab work was good but over the last last few days Sheera started to deteriorate. She started with neurological issues in her back legs, difficulty holding herself up, and she was unable to stand up on her own. I made the call today to let her pass with dignity and grace as she was starting to struggle. She passed away in my arms looking at me. I wanted to be the last person she saw after spending 10 retirement years together. I couldn’t believe she was 17.5 years old and even with her medical issues, the only thing that seemed to calm her was to lay by my side.
Thank you for your service K9 Sheera and being my best friend for the last 10 years. Fly high above the clouds without pain. You were dearly loved and will be greatly missed by everyone who knew you, especially me. I promise you that you will never be forgotten. May your legacy live on.
You were a good girl. Rest easy my sweet, beautiful girl.
CWD Paco came to K9 Hero Haven on 6/24/17 following his retirement from Afghanistan. He was adopted on 4/21/18.
He was able to enjoy 5 years of retirement life being part of his family. He was very loved and spoiled.
As his health started deteriorating and he could no longer do steps, his adopter slept with him on the couch.
She always showed him unconditional love throughout his retirement. During his last days, after being diagnosed with cancer, she also provided him with amazing medical care. He left knowing what love was.
09/17/11 - 11/01/20
CWD Sleepy 67326
CWD Benny was in an EDD program but was retired early due to workability issues. He came to K9 Hero Haven at 2.5 years of age on 8/11/19.
He was adopted to Shay and Nate on 11/3/19. Even though his retirement was brief, he had a wonderful 2 years of hiking, playing, and adventures. He was a happy dog who got along with everyone he met.
A message from his Mom:
It wasn’t supposed to end like this, you were supposed to adventure with us until you were an old man. Our hearts are broken, life won’t be the same without your exuberance and goofy upside down smile. We love you so much, and I just hope you knew that. Fly high over that rainbow bridge, Benny boo.
Thank you everyone for spreading the word that he was missing and for keeping an eye out for him. We’re truly blessed to live in such a caring community. Thank you Andy and Blake for helping us lay him to rest tonight, it means the world to us.
CWD Cody 90642
01/18/07 - 04/13/21
CWD Dan EDD was adopted to Sean by K9 Hero Haven in 2015 as one of our first adoptions. Sean was not his handler but they were in Afghanistan together assigned to the same unit.
CWD Radja came to K9 Hero Haven in March of 2018 after he aged out of service from Afghanistan. He was 9.5 years old at the time. He was adopted to Bob & Donna on 5/11/18.
He had a wonderful retirement of 4.5 years where he enjoyed being part of his family. He loved being close to his “people” and enjoyed a spoiled retirement life. He definitely knew what LOVE was. They were everything he needed and he had a beautiful 4.5 years of retirement life that he so much deserved.
A message from Mom & Dad:
We adopted Radja on May 11, 2018 and he was just what we needed - and we were just what he needed. It took Radja about 20 minutes to adjust to living in our home, seemingly what he always wanted, and about the same amount of time to lodge himself into our hearts forever.
His heart was bursting with love for nearly everyone and his exuberance for life was infectious. He was a lover of his BFF Bob, his frisbee and tug toys, eggs, peanutbutter, and prolific drooler upon the slightest detection of venison. Almost everyone who met him, loved him (except those whose dog Raj wanted to eat, understandably.)
His legs were growing wobbly and there were many times in the last 18 months we thought the end was near, but he always made a miraculous recovery. Recently, we knew his time was very small, so we spent as much time as possible snuggling and spoiling him. After a big breakfast of dippy eggs and venison tenderloin, a veterinarian came to our home and helped him cross the rainbow bridge outside in the sunshine while getting loved on licking peanutbutter from a spoon. We buried him in his favorite place, home, with his frisbee and tug rope.
I frequently referred to Rajjie as the happiest retiree in North America because he truly was. We are just heartbroken, but feeling so blessed to have had the goodest boy God ever made. Thank you Anne for everything.
CWD Orza 99561
We would like to thank the family and friends of Diana Woomer for their support.
CWD Robbie retired from Afghanistan and came to K9 Hero Haven in June of 2017. He was adopted & moved to NH on 6/28/17.
Robbie had an amazing retirement filled with love and adventure. He had the best retirement a retired working dog could ever ask for. He was very loved and spoiled. He had great medical care especially in his last days.
Robbie was loved beyond words, he will be eternally loved and forever missed.
CWD Rocky5 PNDD was our very first adoption at K9 Hero Haven. He was reunited with Ryan, his first handler, he served with in Afghanistan & Iraq. Ryan wanted to adopt Rocky in 2013 but he needed to wait for Rocky to retire. Rocky started working in Afghanistan in 2010 and retired in August of 2015. Once retired he came to K9 Hero Haven.
We were able to locate Ryan through mutual contacts and Ryan immediately left Tennessee, where he lived at the time, to come to PA.
For close to 4 years, Ryan and Rocky have been inseparable. He was able to go to work with Ryan, who owns a dog training business K9SF LLC. They were very close and spent a lot of time together enjoying retirement.
CWD Tina retired from Afghanistan and came to K9 Hero Haven in Dec of 2019 at the age of 10. She was adopted to Kathy and Dean on 2/15/20.
She was a great working dog who worked hard and loved what she did. She spent most of her life working in Afghanistan.
She had an amazing retirement where she was very loved and spoiled. She enjoyed traveling and being part of a family. I couldn’t have asked for a better adoption family. I am so thankful that I met Kathy and Dean through CWD Tina’s adoption. They are 2 of the nicest people that I have ever met.
A message from her Mom:
Over the course of the last few weeks her hind legs were getting progressively weaker. Her quality of life was deteriorating.
Yesterday when I woke up, she couldn’t stand up or walk at all.
I feel like maybe she had ruptured another disc in her back and at her age I wasn't going to put her through that surgery again.
She was the sweetest girl ever and my heart is so broken. I tried to do the right thing and let her go with some dignity in her own bed at home with us holding her
It was very peaceful and trust me yesterday she told me she was ready.
I included pictures with her handler, Alan.
03/15/10 - 12/01/20
Unfortunately today was the day... We had to let CWD Tayros go, we will be forever grateful for the time we were able to spend with him. I met Tayros while deployed to Afghanistan on 2014 and knew right away that we wanted to adopt him if provided the opportunity. He served as a Patrol Explosives Detection Dog (PEDD) both at Iraq (2010) and Afghanistan (2011-2015). His handler at the time, and until his retirement, was Sergio Tulio Ruiz. On 2015 my Army unit redeployed from Afghanistan and “joked” with Sergio about adopting Tayros. I came back to Puerto Rico and then moved to Upstate New York. It was not until a year later on 2016 when Tayros was officially retired, that is when we received the call that he was ready for adoption. Sergio was not able to adopt him but recommended us to care for him.
Upon retirement Tayros was sent to K-9 Hero Haven. I have to thank both Anne and Sergio for the opportunity they provided to my family to care for Tayros upon his retirement. He has been the best dog we have cared for. He was spoiled, loved, and became one of our family member.
02/01/09 - 12/11/20
TCWD Alex 17372
12/20/06 - 03/08/19
CWD Klara EDD retired after serving 8 years in Iraq. In April 2016, she was adopted and moved to Florida. Klara had an amazing retirement; she loved her humans, loved walks, and enjoyed agility class.
You will be missed very much.
CWD Cinda came to K9 Hero Haven on 5/9/18 after her retirement from Afghanistan as a PEDD.
She was adopted to Douglas on 7/25/18. They had an amazing bond, and she went everywhere with him.
She was able to enjoy 4 plus years of having a “best friend" and being part of a family. She enjoyed hiking and walking and spent a lot of time outdoors with her Dad. She was very loved and spoiled.
When I talked with her Dad today, he told me “how she was everything he always needed.” He truly loved her with his whole being. She even walked across the stage as a nursing graduate and received her pin with her Dad.
A message from her Dad:
I met Cinda in Aug of 2018 after driving hours and detouring many times through heavy rains and road flooding. I met her, that door opened, and she ran straight for me. I know in my heart we were meant to meet. I had 5 wonderful years with her by my side everywhere I went. This past year her mobility took a big decline with Degenerative myelopathy. Spent all year in therapy and acupuncture for her. The past week her mobility had significantly dropped, and I was in talks about at home euthanasia.
She had two seizures last night and couldn’t recover from the second. No at home services were available, so I loaded her up in the back of the car and laid with her while my girlfriend took us to the emergency vet (which I absolutely did not want to do)
I think she knew, and also didn’t want to go in there. She took her last breaths in my arms in the parking lot.
I loved her so much, and am grateful beyond words for K9 Hero Haven bringing her into my life.
CWD Kelly2 85502
01/19/09 - 08/28/19
CWD Moos 85267
01/01/09 - 10/26/18
05/04/11 - 07/06/20
CWD Ali 88911
04/18/10 - 11/24/19
CWD Senna 37002
CWD Rambo came to K9 Hero Haven in October of 2017. He was adopted on 11/7/17 but was returned on 9/23/22 due to a change in family dynamics. He was adopted to Bob & Kim in PA on 10/3/22.
Even though his time was short with his family, he had a wonderful retirement full of love & enjoyed being part of their family.
Prior to his adoption, he had dental surgery to clear up an infection in his mouth. He had a complete physical, bloodwork and his shots were updated.
Recently he started with mobility issues and difficulty walking. He was given a CT scan. Unfortunately they found a cancerous tumor on his spine.
They felt it was best to let him pass with dignity and grace as they held him in their arms. He left knowing what love was and being part of an amazing family who treasured every day they had with him.
CWD Kimbo retired from Iraq and came to K9 Hero Haven on 5/2/21. He was adopted to Dana & Julie on 7/3/21.
CWD Kimbo was a great dog. He was what is known in the Belgian Malinois world as a “unicorn “. He was just simply an amazing, perfect dog.
He attended a few events with K9 Hero Haven and loved all the attention from everyone.
He fit into his family and his retirement perfectly. He loved his huge family and loved spending time with the whole family at home or on outings.
Unfortunately, a month ago they realized he had cancer. It was in his lymph nodes. On this past Thursday they made the heartbreaking decision to let him pass with dignity and grace.
A message from his Mom:
Kimbo is in heaven. We are heartbroken. All of us. Today is the first day I have not cried since putting him to sleep Thursday afternoon.
Dana even left work early to meet me at the vet and he cried so much. All 3 vets and many vet techs came in the room and said goodbye to him and thanked him for his service. They all hugged us and said we gave him a wonderful retirement. It feels so unfair that he did not get a longer retirement.
He loved us so much and we loved him.
We get his ashes back this week and then we are going to bury him with his Kong, collars and leash. We are going to make a headstone and plant flowers. He will never be forgotten and missed everyday. Life will not be the same without him.
I am still sorting through hundreds of pictures of him. He was beautiful on the inside and outside. Even his dog groomer and my parents miss him terribly and cried. They got very attached to him also. So many people loved him.
I miss him following me around all day. I will miss it even more when kids are back in school. He was my best friend.
I Included the pictures of everyone in the family saying goodbye. It pulls on my heartstrings looking at the picture of Lincoln praying with CWD Kimbo. If a dog could live on love alone, I know he could live forever.
CWD Rambo came to K9 Hero Haven in April of 2021 after his retirement from Iraq. He had surgery scheduled while here. He was neutered. He also had several masses and his spleen removed. They found the masses while completing the physical and surgery with his neuter.
We looked for a foster home for him while he was healing, and Maryanne and Don had offered to foster him. He healed up well after surgery.
He wasn’t there long as a foster as they both fell head over heels in love with this sweet boy and asked to adopt him. They adopted him on 6/30/21. It was like love at first sight.
A message from his Mom:
Today Don and I made the heartbreaking decision to euthanize our beloved CWD Rambo.
At 12 years old he was increasingly struggling with mobility issues. This morning he simply could no longer stand on his own so we decided to end his fight.
Even though we only had him for 9 months he was the most devoted, sweet, funny dog we have ever had. He was my constant shadow, and I feel like I have lost a part of myself.
Being able to love and care for Sheila, and Rambo was an incredible honor, and privilege. Don and I would both like to express our heartfelt thanks to Anne Gibbs, and everyone at K9 Hero Haven for allowing us to adopt these two incredible retired warriors. We are forever grateful! RIP CWD Rambo, my baby boy.
CWD Rambo had an amazing retirement filled with love as part of his family.
CWD Jenna PEDD served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. She retired and came to K9 Hero Haven in March of 2020. She was adopted to Betheny on 6/24/20 and moved to Massachusetts.
Here is a message from her mom:
Last night my sweet Jenna girl passed away and the world lost another one of its greatest heroes. I adopted Jenna on June 24, 2020. When I met up with Anne to pick her up I fell in love with this huge bundle of energy that just never stopped. She wanted to play all the time and was never without a toy. She loved people and wanted to be in your face and lap at every minute. I will miss waking up to her sweet face in mine telling me it is time to get up. We would go for walks constantly because she had so much energy to burn. She just wanted to go, go, go. She would nudge your hand or elbow to let you know she needed a scratch behind her ears or was ready for another walk. She loved playing fetch and chasing after squirrels. She just loved retirement and I loved spoiling her. It has been a little over four months, which is way too short, and even though it is heartbreaking to say goodbye so soon I have no regrets. I loved my time with Jenna and I will forever miss her. Rest easy my sweet girl.
CWD BAPTSY PEDD "Boo" Wright
A message from Mom & Dad:
Born 3/1/2010 - Went to the Rainbow Bridge on January 21, 2022, at 12:09 p.m.
Boo of Alliance, Ohio passed away peacefully at West Side Animal Hospital with his loving parents holding his paws. Boo's health had diminished in recent years due to injuries from Afghanistan, he had weekly vet appointments to address his health. Unfortunately, Boo was diagnosed with rapidly spreading mouth cancer & liver failure at his last appointment. His wonderful vet Dr. B and his staff assisted Boo in crossing the Rainbow Bridge.
He was an AMK9 retiree and served for 5 years in Afghanistan as a Patrol & Explosives Detection Dog and came to his parents August 9, 2015 as an adoptee from K9 Hero Haven.
Boo spent his retirement ruling the house, chasing Kongs and balls, being a little bit "bitey" to those he did not know and implementing the "Do NOT touch my Dad rule" to anyone within 10 feet of his Dad, including Mom.
Boo leaves behind his parents Jody & Chris Wright and five fur brothers and sisters of the home, Kita (personal protection), Onyx (retired Police K9), CWD Djeny EDD retired (Iraq), Brix (retired Police K9), CWD Mamba EDD retired (Afghanistan). He will be sadly missed by his family and many friends who loved him as he left paw prints on all of their hearts. He will be cremated and return to be reunited with his collar and stay with his family forever.
Boo was VERY much LOVED! There will NEVER be another Boo and the paw prints he left on our hearts were very BIG for such a small guy.
CWD Rex 5 came to K9 Hero Haven in 2017 following his retirement from Afghanistan working as an NDD.
He was adopted to Keith and his family in Illinois on 2/25/17. He was able to enjoy retirement for 5 years being part of a family.
Recently his health started declining. He was having mobility issues involving his spine. Last night they decided it was best for him to let him pass with dignity and grace.
CWD Hendry 52897
05/01/05 - 05/25/16
K9 Judah came to K9 Hero Haven in September of 2018 following his retirement as a police K9. He was retired to his handler but he was unable to keep him and care for him.
He was in foster for a while during his time at K9 Hero Haven and there was talk about adoption but it never seemed to come about, so we decided to place him in an adoption home with a family. We wanted to provide him with a wonderful, permanent family so he could spend the rest of his retirement being loved and spoiled with his family. He was adopted to Marion and Lora in VA on 5/2/20.
He had a wonderful retirement life being part of a family. He was able to enjoy going on family vacations as well as enjoy having a beautiful family life at home.
A message from his Dad:
It’s with a very heavy and extremely sad heart I have to tell you that we lost Judah on Monday eve. He started having some hip issues and was limping on his left front foot. We thought the left front foot was just a sprain muscle from running in the yard playing with the other dogs.
His hip dysplasia increased very rapidly to the point where he could not get up without me picking him up. We took him to Florida for a week. We went to the ocean again. On the way back his health deteriorate even more to the point where we made a veterinarian appointment on the ride home on Monday. When we got to the vet Monday afternoon, they took x-rays show the limping in his front left foot was bone cancer. There was also a tumor in his stomach that we were unaware of it that was pushing his intestines and internal organs to one side of his body. His hip dysplasia was not gonna get any better. He seem to be in quite a bit of pain. None of the problems that he had were going to get any better, so we thought the only humane thing to do was to peacefully let him go. Having to let him go has absolutely devastated us.
I don’t think I’ve ever loved a dog quite so much in such a short time. The world has lost a true protector I’ve never had a dog more loyal than he was. We will miss him so much. In the three years he was here he seem to fall in love with his family.
I knew you loved and cared for Judah I thought you might want to know. What a great protector he was to the very end.
CWD Kyran came to K9 Hero Haven in 2018 after her retirement in Afghanistan. She was adopted to David and Nancy on 10/26/18.
CWD Kyran enjoyed retirement as part of a family being very loved and spoiled. She loved her time traveling and her time on vacations with her family.
She was able to enjoy 3.5 wonderful retirement years before passing away at 13.5 years of age.
A message from her Dad:
It is with a sad but joyous heart that we announce the passing of our CWD Kyran. She was a retired bomb sniffer in Afghanistan.
We have shared our lives with her for the past 3 1/2 years. She was my hero. Thanks to Anne Gibbs from K9 Hero Haven for setting us up with this most wonderful animal.
CWD Brian came to K9 Hero Haven in June of 2018 and was adopted to Jeremy and Maria in Ohio on 8/5/18.
He went everywhere with his family and was such a great dog. He loved all the grand children and all the daily activities including lots of travel and hiking. He became Jeremy’s best friend and was always by his side. Recently Brian started with seizures and recently lost his sight. His seizures took a toll on him.
He was an amazing dog and a great family dog that will be greatly missed by his entire family as well as everyone who knew him.
CWD Jack 69521
10/01/08 - 02/23/21
K9 Rakkar 52251
05/16/03 - 08/24/15
CWD Bertus retired from Afghanistan and came to K9 Hero Haven in Oct of 2018 at the age of 10. He was adopted on 12/1/18 to Randy in VA.
CWD Bertus was a sweet boy who loved snuggling and being close to his family. He was able to enjoy a wonderful retirement on a beautiful horse farm in VA.
CWD Bertus would have been 14 next month. Even though he worked so much of his life, I was happy to see him enjoy 3 1/2 wonderful years of retirement life on a farm with his family.
CWD Ringo served his life in Afghanistan and retired in June of 2017. Shortly after returning to the US, we notice neurological problems with him. After tests and scans, CWD Ringo was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. His only option was radiation. He received 20 treatments and started to enjoy retirement. Even thou his retirement was brief, he enjoyed attending events as an ambassador of K9 Hero Haven. He loved people and enjoyed ice cream, treats and toys. He became a huge inspiration to all people especially cancer survivors.
The radiation took a toll on his body. The biopsy left his skull area with out bone. It was very soft and a risk of constant infection. The tumor effected his balance and caused him to fall and be unsteady.
On 10/11/17 at his vet appointment, K9 Hero Haven's veterinarian suggested helping him pass. CWD Ringo was dealing with an infection at the biopsy site because the area became compromised and just wouldn’t heal complicated with balance and falling. His skin was deteriorating in several areas even though we kept him active and moving.
CWD Ringo passed in Anne's arms as she laid on the floor crying with him holding him. Remember him as a dog who served his life, loved people, toys, and treats.
CWD Ringo was able to receive a brief retirement with thanks to Diane for her sponsorship of his medical bills and US War Dogs for covering his radiation treatments and stay at Red Bank Hospital.
CWD Ringo's life not only helped save countless lives during his working career, but went on to represent retired working dogs like him. CWD Ringo touched so many lives during his short retirement life. CWD Ringo proved to be as much or more of a hero in retirement as he was while on the job. We will truly miss you!
CWD Bony PEDD retired from Afghanistan at 10.7 years of age. He came to K9 Hero Haven in November of 2020. He was adopted to Kay & Ryan on 12/3/20.
CWD Bony had a wonderful retirement even though it was only 8 months in duration. He was very loved and spoiled and he was able to spend his last 8 months being a dog after spending the majority of his life working.
A message from his Mom :
It is with sadness that I share the passing of our CWD Bony (retired). He took a really bad turn over the weekend, and we made the decision to do what was best for him. He was really having trouble breathing and had stopped eating. He couldn’t walk really and he was in pain. We will miss him terribly. You were a brave soldier, buddy.
CWD Kety 36576
01/01/05 - 07/29/19
01/03/07 - 12/28/20
A message from her Mom & Dad:
On this quiet rainy morning, we laid to rest our adored and loyal companion CWD Ajla.
She was beautiful, playful, corky and stubborn. She had a wild, fighting spirit and yet a kindhearted soul. She was opinionated, hilarious and always did things at her pace (always in circles- she loved to run in a circle). One of our favorite party tricks that Ajla taught herself was to go into the mud room and shut the door with her nose - it was her nice way of telling us to bug off (we would laugh every time she did it and unless you saw it like we did daily, you would have thought it was a fluke, but it wasn’t).
She leaves this world a hero as she selflessly worked to protect many humans during her time in service as a contract working dog (CWD) - skilled in EDD (Explosive Detection). CWD Ajla was many things but most importantly to us, she was OURS. Our family, our companion, our “little weirdo”, our “sea creature” our “complex kiddo”
We were beyond lucky to have had the opportunity and privilege to spoil, love and care for CWD Ajla after her retirement from service. She has always and will always hold a special place in my heart. We bonded quickly and deeply. From the first time I saw a picture of her and heard her story I knew she was special and hoped that she would be ours.
CWD Ajla is not the first retired working dog we welcomed into our family. We did this wholeheartedly knowing our time together would be limited we as we don’t get to enjoy them as puppies or watch them grow (and that’s okay with us). We get them after they have served their duty as working dogs to enjoy and live out their retirement. And all that is absolutely true and 100% fine because at the end of the day, it’s not about us, it’s about them! It’s about the incredible retirement that they deserve after dedicating years of their life to service. But even after doing this a few times it doesn’t seem to get any easier to say “See you later my dear friend”.
Rest easy my precious “Ajo” you my dear are one in a million and we will miss you forever. We know that you are in a better place, pain free enjoying time with your stubborn brother MWD Domil at the rainbow bridge.
Until we meet again my dear girl.
SSGT. Joseph Ray
CWD Zsa Zsa 56798
CWD Vyktor 47962
05/26/10 - 09/29/20
K9 Sorbon retired from the police department in August of 2020 and came to K9 Hero Haven. He was very good at what he did and loved his job. The day his handler handed me his leash, was one of the most difficult days for his handler.
Even thou K9 Sorbon had a few medical issues, he was a sweetheart. He loved snuggle time and giving kisses. His favorite time was play time. He also loved going on van rides.
Today he wouldn’t eat breakfast and was unable to stand up. He could not bear weight on his hind legs. Once seen at the emergency vet, we discovered he had a large mass which was pushing up on his spine. It looked like cancer. In the vets opinion, it spread into the bones. He was not a candidate for surgery so unfortunately that wasn’t an option.
After talking with his handler, we decided to let him go with dignity and grace... K9 Sorbon was cremated and returned to his handler with his paw print.
CWD Bico2 03788
10/15/09 - 12/17/17
CWD Layka 38982
CWD Johnny 72908
CWD Cindy 38546
11/18/09 - 04/30/20
CWD Hobo retired at the age of 6.5 years of age after working several years in Afghanistan. He was retired due to a medical condition. CWD Hobo suffered from seizures and was on medication at the time of his retirement until the end of his life. CWD Hobo's handler, Eldar Begic (pictured with CWD Hobo) missed him dearly and loved being connected to CWD Hobo's adoptive family. Eldar loved seeing pictures and updates about his old partner. CWD Hobo was adopted by Michael and Teresa Henning on 8/29/15. He was an only dog and was very loved and spoiled in his much too short retired life. Over time, his seizures became more severe and several different medications were tired to control them, but it was unsuccessful. CWD Hobo will be greatly missed by his family and former handler. Rest easy CWD Hobo and thank you for your service as you stand your next watch over us.
CWD Basca 36745
01/01/09 - 02/11/21
CWD Sauzi came to K9 Hero Haven in December of 2015 after his retirement from Iraq.
A message from his Mom:
CWD Sauzi, born July 18, 2010. Received his angel wings April 14, 2022. Adopted to Gail and family in January, 2016. He lived as a beloved family pet longer than he worked.
CWD Sauzi was part of a one dog family, because that’s the way he wanted it! He didn’t like other dogs, he was not a fan of strangers, but, oh, how he loved his people! Maybe even more than he loved his Kong! He wanted to be wherever we were and he never got used to us leaving the house without him. We always heard about it when we came home!
He had at least three beds in the house, but he much preferred the ones his people slept in. And we usually let him. He was a bit of a biter, but he never tried that with mom (that’s me) because she was his alpha, and we loved each other fiercely!
The house already seems too quiet, too empty. I was never alone when he was here and that will be very hard to get used to.
We loved you, well, Sauzi, just like you loved us! We will love and remember and miss you forever. I’ll see you again someday and that will be a happy reunion!, your mama
CWD Sauzi was able to enjoy 6 wonderful, spoiled years of retirement with his family. Thank you for giving him such an amazing retirement as part of your family.
Police K9 Ivo retired in 2017 to his handler, Brian. Ivo spent his life working with Brian in PA. We received Ivo at K9 Hero Haven in Jan of 2019, after his handler was diagnosed with a medical condition.
A few months after arriving, Ivo had a severe vestibular incident and could not walk. He went through weeks of rehabilitation and bounced completely back with the exception of a head tilt when he concentrated to focus. Not long after completing rehabilitation, Ivo was diagnosed with bone cancer. It was the worse type. It spread quickly and was very painful. It causes the bones to eventually break. Through it all, Ivo remained happy. He loved his toys and was a huge toy hoarder. He was a sweet dog and was always smiling. He loved going on rides and outings.
From Anne: "One of the things that I will miss the most, is no matter what he went through in life, he was always smiling. He loved life... he was strong, he was a fighter ...and he was happy
Rest easy K9 Ivo. Fly high above the clouds without pain. You served your community well. I will miss you so much. You will never be forgotten."
K9 Boris 52754
06/07/04 - 10/27/16
CWD Desyi 85250
12/20/09 - 11/24/17
K9 Dex CF-75 retired from US Customs and Border Protection. He worked for several years at the JFK airport and was retired to his handler. He came to K9 Hero Haven when he was 10 years old; his handler returned overseas.
Dex was best know for always carrying a toy 24/7. He would put his toys in the water bowl and splash water everywhere especially with toys that held water. He would also do what we called his “werewolf impression “ were he would show all his teeth if other dogs came next to him while he was carrying his toy in his mouth.
He loved water and loved playing in the creek. He enjoyed toy shopping and was always known for stuffing his mouth full of as many toys as he could carry.
As he aged, he started with multiple health issues, but it never slowed him down.
K9 Dex, your served your community well. Run above the clouds without pain. You will be greatly missed by everyone at K9 Hero Haven. You will never be forgotten.
CWD Baron came to K9 Hero Haven in February of 2016 following his retirement from Afghanistan. He did have a history of seizures. He was adopted to James on 3/18/16.
He was able to enjoy almost 7 years of a wonderful retirement with his family. He was very loved and spoiled. He loved his family … especially all of his “girls”. He will always be looking over them
A message from his DAD:
You were a gift. Thank you for your service, taking care of your girls and being the best partner I ever had.
Run free buddy. ‘Till Valhalla
CWD Nancy 52997
CWD Vagany came to K9 Hero Haven on 5/15/16 following his retirement from Iraq. He was being retired due to medical at the age of 7 due to a fractured back foot.
CWD Vagany had some kennel aggression and didn’t like the vet setting but once he felt he could trust you, he loved you. He was adopted to John & Shelly on 11/21/16. He was able to enjoy 6.5 wonderful retirement years as part of a family. He was diagnosed with kidney disease during retirement but with wonderful care and love, he lived until the age of 14.
He enjoyed many years of hiking, camping and being part of his family. He left knowing what love was.
A message from his Dad:
CWD Vagany aka Dingus Dog or just Dog, was the most fiercely loyal friend and companion I could ever ask for, ever. I was fortunate to have him for nearly 6 years after he was medically retired. He was always by my side and ever ready for any adventures I decided. We walked near daily in the local forest and had many hours of enjoyment there. He was always happiest when he could be right there next to me, wherever that place might be. The only thing he might have liked better than me was his Kong, and he had any number of those that were scattered “strategically” all over the house. He always pushed himself no matter what to be be by my side night and day. He was my Dog, friend, and companion. I will miss him greatly.
CWD Jenna 62328
11/01/09 - 11/09/20
CWD Rex 4 came to K9 Hero Haven in Sept of 2016 after retiring from Afghanistan. He worked in several locations in Afghanistan including the Australian Embassy. He was adopted to Jade and Constance on 9/26/16. He retired at he age of 8 due to severe tendon laxity with his front leg. It did not slow him down. He loved playing and being active regardless of his injury.
A message from Rex ‘s adopter :
Rex died the Tuesday after Labor Day. He spent, over Labor Day at the Urgent Care Center. He was then transferred to our vet where he was examined and put to sleep.
He was spoiled daily by my wife's care givers who all loved him. His favorite person in the world, besides me, was Judy.
I do not move about easily anymore. Rex, will lay under and behind me all day, every day. When I went for rides Rex went with me.
Rex's ashes are beside Rusty 3 and Rusty 4 over the fire place. My wish is that these 3 dogs be buried with us when we die. We have made a home for many dogs, all rescues.
CWD Ida came to K9 Hero Haven in January of 2017 after her retirement from Afghanistan. She was adopted to Qimei & Ning on 4/22/17. She had almost 4 wonderful years of retirement being part of her family. She was very loved and spoiled.
A message from Mom & Dad:
We adopted Ida from your place on April 22nd 2017. Ida was a bomb sniffing dog retired from Afghanistan.
She gave us four years of her best love. Ida passed away this morning at home. She is loved deeply by our family, best friends to my two kids and sweetest granddaughter to my Mom.
She followed me everywhere I go, I am so used to having her by my side. We will miss her forever! Thank you for letting us adopt Ida, she brought so much fun and love to the family.
CWD Cody retired from Afghanistan and came to K9 Hero Haven in Dec of 2019, prior to his 13th birthday. Initially, I tried to adopt him out but he showed his teeth towards meeting new people at an adoption event. He seemed to make it perfectly clear that he was staying at K9 Hero Haven.
He went on numerous ice cream and cheeseburger outings. He loved his shopping trips to PetSmart and Tractor Supply.
He had LarPar surgery in September and recovered quickly. He adjusted nicely following surgery. At the time, that surgery saved his life.
Sunday he started not feeling well. Monday he seemed somewhat better, but today he wouldn’t eat his breakfast. After testing was completed, it was noted that he had a mass on his liver, his spleen, and his bladder. He could not empty his bladder on his own. I felt it was best to let him pass with dignity and grace as surgery was not an option.
He was my sidekick traveling, loved affection from anyone who would pet him. He would go person to person to be pet. He was just simply.... A great dog ....
He was loved by many and will be missed by everyone who knew him especially Gregg Norman, a full time volunteer here. I will forever miss my sidekick who was always ready to go without any notice.
CWD Tex PEDD enjoyed 3.5 years of retirement after serving in Afghanistan. He was best known as a demo dog for bite work as he truly loved “ catching the bad guy”. He was retired early due to a damaged trachea as they didn’t want to risk trachea collapse. He was adopted the same day we adopted CWD Bjerka, who passed away in 2017.
CWD Tex served as an ambassador for K9 Hero Haven. We limited his events thou due to Tex having K9 PTSD. He became nervous and anxious in crowds, and would panic with sudden loud noises., but he loved kids and people. We used to tell him he was going to see” little people” AKA Kids. He loved going for rides, including ice cream. He was a huge favorite here especially with the female volunteers.
CWD Buck 02281
07/01/08 - 05/04/18
CWD Bico 48279
CWD Zana came to K9 Hero Haven in Feb of 2020 after retiring from Afghanistan. It was just prior to her 12th birthday. She had an emergency spay within two weeks of her arrival here. She did amazing and showed her true strength and courage.
CWD Zana was best known for her BEAUTIFUL smile. Even today in her last hours, she continued to smile. On a bad day.. you just had to look at her and she would make you smile.
She went through a lot overseas and didn’t return to the US until almost 12 years of age and yet she didn’t let life stop her from smiling. She had the heart and courage of a true fighter. Her strength and endurance was endless.
In January she was seen at the emergency vet when she couldn’t bear weight on her back leg. After looking at the X-rays, they suspected bone cancer or osteoarthritis but they were leaning more towards cancer. Being that it was in her hip, surgery was not an option. We choose the medication route and she blessed us with 3 more wonderful months. Today she was unable to bear weight and was in pain. It was time to let her pass with dignity and grace.
I held her tonight as she passed away in my arms. I kept telling her what a good girl she was.
She didn’t like strangers, most dogs and definitely didn’t like the vet…. But she still keep smiling until she had passed away in my arms. Her smile was the last thing I saw. No matter what life threw her way… She was always SMILING!! May her smile never be forgotten. May she be a reminder to others be kind to one another and keep SMILING no matter what life throws your way.
CWD Taffy 40366
09/16/08 - 10/19/20
CWD Allen 15274
CWD Layka PEDD retired from Afghanistan and came to K9 Hero Haven on 12/12/18. She served in Afghanistan from 2011- 2018. She was adopted to Scott and Sue on 12/30/18.
CWD Layka had a spoiled retirement as part of her family. She was Scott’s shadow. She loved going out on their boat and enjoyed her retirement life with them.
A message from Scott:
Her cancer spread into her lymph nodes and spread rapidly since February. It spread to the point that she could not stand or walk without falling. She stopped eating dog food a week ago. Sometimes I wonder if I held on too long. I held her in my arms for 20 minutes after heart stopped.
CWD Kim came to K9 Hero Haven on 7/9/17 after her retirement from Iraq. She was retired early due to medical issues.
She was adopted on 8/27/17 to a couple in PA on 8/27/17 but they didn’t end up keeping her. Luckily they placed her with someone who was able to notified us & let us know, especially since that went against our signed adoption agreement.
She was later adopted to Elizabeth & Luke on 6/3/19. She was a beautiful, sweet girl who was very spoiled and loved being part of their family. She had 3.5 wonderful years of retirement with her new family.
A message from Mom:
I’m so sad to let you know that Kim passed away in her sleep on New Year’s Day. She was the sweetest girl and such a protector of her humans. She is deeply missed!!
CWD Diego retired in August of 2015; he served in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was one of our fist adoptions. He was adopted to Ken and Tami Feese in PA on 10/25/15.
Today CWD Diego stopped eating and was having difficulty walking. He was taken to the first vet for testing and diagnostics. They believed he was in heart failure. He was then taken to the emergency vet for more detailed testing and it was discovered that he had a mass in his heart. There were issues with his liver as well. It was best to let him go so he wouldn’t suffer and be in pain.
He had an amazing retirement full of adventure and love. He was a great family dog. He was loved very much and will be greatly missed.
CWD Blackie 86778
12/12/07 - 06/30/17
CWD Jan came to K9 Hero Haven in August of 2017 after his retirement from Iraq and Afghanistan.
He was a dog everyone fell in love with as soon you met him. He was sweet, confident and had the best “all around personality “.
He stayed at K9 Hero Haven because he was one of our medical dogs even from the beginning. He had several masses removed not long after his arrival here. He seemed to have issues swallowing at times. He would have regurgitation issues at times. He had severe arthritis in his front legs.
CWD Jan served as an ambassador for K9 Hero Haven for 5 years. He recently attended his last event at Nascar weekend. He loved going everywhere and he loved meeting people. He made so many friends over the 5 years of attending events.
He tended to prefer men over women. He would usually bond with a man vs a woman. He usually slept in their bed here vs mine.
He loved going and wanted to go with whoever was leaving. He loved going for rides. If he saw people going, he was ready to go. His favorite thing was to go on outings, and he went a lot.
Recently his health started declining. He stopped eating, it was difficult to get meds in him. When he was seen today at the vet, his X-rays showed that his lungs were full of cancer. So we made the call to let him pass with dignity and grace.
CWD Laika6 PEDD retired from Afghanistan. Laika was adopted and moved to Missouri. From her family: "She was a wonderful, loving and affectionate dog, who gave us several years of love and devotion. Our time with her will always be one of the highlights of our lives."
CWD Jerno PEDD retired from Afghanistan and came to K9 Hero Haven in Jan of 2019. He was adopted to Richard and Tara on 6/19/19.
CWD Jerno was returned 2 years and 3 months later to K9 Hero Haven on 9/21/21 due to a change in family dynamics. He stated when bringing him back that he had some arthritis in his back end.
We made a vet appointment and updated any shots that were due, checked his lab work. We gave him joint supplements, omega & meds for his arthritis. His white cells were slightly elevated so we also gave him an antibiotic per my vet. My vet also suggested a chiropractor but after a few visits, we didn’t notice any improvement and his health just seem to keep declining.
I recently noticed the abdomen increase in size and it seemed to be putting stress on his back. His appetite was decreased and he struggled at times to get up.
I was able to schedule another appointment today and said I suspected a mass in the abdomen. When doing the x rays, there was a large mass in his abdomen pushing up on the spine and all of his organs.
He was not a candidate for surgery. This tumor was growing quickly and I know he had to be uncomfortable and in pain even with the pain medication I was giving him twice daily. So I decided it was best to let him pass with dignity and grace. He gave me goodbye kisses as I held him.
But through all of this he was happy. He gave kisses and loved to lay at your feet. He was a sweet, devoted dog who loved to be near the ones he loved. He was strong and a fighter and if you saw his strength and endurance, you would of never believed the x ray belong to him as he walked into the vet office today.
The strength of a working dog and their will to fight always amazes me. They will go until they drop. They are such fighters and true warriors until the end. They can seem ok one day and gone the next.
K9 Hagan came to K9 Hero Haven on June 17th. His handler could no longer keep him.
K9 Hagan loved van rides and being outdoors. He loved being in the water and playing fetch. He loved rec time.
He was a very lovable dog yet he had a very difficult side and a lot of issues . He was very unpredictable. He was a dog you learned a lot from.
So many times we receive retired working dogs that aren’t “ easy” and have had a difficult past. We always try to provide time, love, and patience as they try and adjust into retirement life.
It is truly a beautiful feeling to save the most difficult dogs and you always feel like you “failed” with the ones you can’t.
Thank you for your service K9 Hagan. Fly high above the clouds. You are now at peace.
On September 29, 2015, Daryl Suchma passed away. Daryl was born on October 8, 1954. He was a huge fan of the Pirates, Steelers, and Penguins. He worked for the VA in South Carolina. Daryl was also known to an avid animal lover. As an animal lover, Daryl's family wanted to show Daryl's love for animals by supporting K9 Hero Haven in his memory. We are thank Daryl and his family for their support.
CWD Nellie 69075
CWD Rokky 47830
CWD Flappie EDD retired from Afghanistan and came to K9 Hero Haven in 2016 . She was adopted on 7/24/16 to Sean in Michigan.
Flappie was Sean’s best friend and they were very close. They went through a lot together in the past 4 years. He absolutely adored her and would always say “that she saved his life “. They were a match made in heaven and just fit and belong together so perfectly.
A message from Sean: She dedicated her life to service not only as an explosive detection dog in Afghanistan but also as my best friend. Words can’t describe the loss I’m feeling right now.
She will be greatly missed by Sean and everyone who knew her.
CWD Nero EDD retired at 7.5 years of age from Iraq. He came to K9 Hero Haven and was adopted on 12/16/16. He was later adopted in April of 2017 to a family member and moved to South Carolina where he lived out his retirement.
Nero passed away due to liver disease and had gotten very sick. He was a huge part of their family and was very loved.
CWD Astra retired from Iraq and came to K9 Hero Haven in the fall of 2015. She was adopted to Jessica & Tom on 1/19/16 in Texas.
She had a wonderful retirement being loved and spoiled as a member of the family. She did amazing with the baby as he transitioned into the family. She loved having a “little human brother”.
Her handler was unable to adopt her at the time of her retirement, but he was able to visit her a few times and always brought CWD Astra a steak when he came.
A message from Astra’s Mom:
Today we said goodbye to our sweet girl, Astra. I’m so glad I got to be her mom. She had so much personality and was the sassiest thing! She had to tell off every dog she passed, even when she couldn’t walk and was being pulled around the park in a wagon. She gave the best cuddles, burped and snored like a grown man and could clear a room with her torpedo whistle farts. We loved her dearly and will miss her terribly.
CWD Allen came to K9 Hero Haven in Oct of 2015 after his retirement from Afghanistan. He had just completed his 6 years of working as an explosive detection dog.
He was adopted to Noreen & Ken on 11/11/15. He was one of our first adoptions after stating K9 Hero Haven in August of 2015.
He was able to enjoy 7.5 wonderful years of retirement being part of his family. What an amazing life he had to be able to enjoy retirement life close to his 16th birthday. He was very loved and spoiled. He left knowing what love is.
CWD ULF retired from Iraq and came to K9 Hero Haven in June of 2016. He was adopted to Omar on 1/31/17.
CWD ULF was a sweet dog. He had an amazing retirement with his dad. He was his friend and part of his family. He was by his side as he transitioned from college to moving several states away as he started his career with US Customs.
His handler, Logan was unable to adopt him when he retired but loved seeing pictures and updates of him enjoying retirement with his dad.
A message from his handler, Logan :
So I just read the news.. one of my partners in Iraq passed away earlier this year... CWD Ulf you were an AMAZING dog and it was my honor to work with you.. when I first met you I literally thought, " oh my god look at this big, mean looking guy". But when I picked up your lead you met me with love and loyalty that only such a select few will ever know... When I found out you were ready for adoption it broke my heart I couldnt take you... But the good Lord above sent you Omar and I know you had an AWESOME retirement... Fly high my big doofy boy.. I can't wait to see you one day..
I have attached pictures with both his handler, Logan and his Dad.
CWD ULF was diagnosed with aggressive cancer and he made the decision to let him pass with dignity and grace.
CWD Ulf 48355
CWD Bross PEDD retired from Afghanistan in 2015. He came to K9 Hero Haven in our first group of 10 dogs when we completed our 1st kennel building. I remember picking him up at the airport in a solid metal crate and I could have sworn they put the Tasmanian Devil in the crate... but once opened... he was just happy to see people.
We adopted him briefly in April of 2016 but he was returned in August due to being aggressive and unpredictable. It broke the adopter’s heart to bring him back, but CWD Bross struggled adjusting to a normal retirement in society. He tend to be “reactive” to anyone he didn’t know or trust. Prior to returning, he also started with seizures.
We decided to place him in foster with Sarah and Vashon. We didn’t want the kennel life to be the last thing he remembered after years of serving in Afghanistan.
He bonded with Vashon and became his best friend. CWD Bross thought the world of him and that was mutual. He adjusted nicely to home life even thou he never became a social dog. He loved going for rides, walks and spending time with his family.
CWD Hamad 47719
CWD Ozra retired from Iraq and came to K9 Hero Haven in April of 2021. She was one of dogs we transported from Chicago to PA when the group of 60 dogs came home together from Iraq.
She was adopted to Scott on 4/27/21. He previously adopted Duke from K9 Hero Haven and they were all happy to add her to the family.
Even though her retirement was brief, it was great she was able to experience a wonderful, loved and spoiled retirement. She was a sweet, kind and gentle dog who loved everyone she met.
A message from Scott:
Today we sent another angel to doggy heaven. Ozra was such a sweet and beautiful girl who served our country for many years in Iraq and Afghanistan. While she was only with us for a short time, we will miss her dearly. Rest easy girl.
CWD Bico PNDD retired from Afghanistan around the age of 7.
He was a very sweet, mellow retired working dog. He was very obedient and knew his commands well. He had a great love for life and loved play time.
CWD Cor retired from Afghanistan and came to K9 Hero Haven on 11/23/20 after he aged out of service . He was adopted to Charlotte and Chunghee on 12/26/20.
CWD Cor had a wonderful and spoiled retirement, even thou it was brief. His retirement was filled lots of love and wonderful adventures.
Here is a message from his Mom:
While Cor loved retirement, he never forgot his training. On a trip home to South Carolina two weeks ago, Cor felt it necessary to try to search my Grandmother's nursing home for bombs and wanted to clear the entire building. He wanted to make sure Grammy and her friends were safe.
His favorite games were fetch (with two Kongs) and hide-and-go-seek. Cor caught the attention of everyone. Strangers would stop their car just to tell us that he was the most handsome boy and his smile was contagious.
While we would do anything for one more day with our sweetest boy, we loved him like a child and have peace knowing he loved us and that there was nothing more that could be done.
Being the 3Cs will be something we cherish forever.
On January 20, 2018, Anna Margaret Nettles Ray of Pine Mountain, GA passed away. Mrs. Ray and her family were big veteran supporters. She was preceded in death by her grandson, SSGT Joseph Ray who died while serving in Afghanistan. She was a big animal lover, so her family is collecting donations to help support K9 Hero Haven in her memory. We would like to thank them for their support and express our sincere condolences for their loss.
CWD Aron retired from Iraq and came to K9 Hero Haven in July of 2019. He was adopted to Aubrey in Illinois on 8/9/19 He had a wonderful retirement life of being loved and spoiled. He enjoyed his outings. He was one of those great dogs that even like “dressing” up. He will be greatly missed by everyone who knew him, especially Aubrey.
CWD Felix 85427
CWD Dino retired from Afghanistan and came to K9 Hero Haven in 2015. He was one of our first dogs. He was adopted to Michael in Ohio on 9/26/15. He was later adopted to Hana and Jeff in Kentucky.
CWD Dino had an amazing retirement home where he was very loved and spoiled. He was always treated like family.
A message from his mom and dad:
Hanna and I would like to thank everyone for their prayers and well wishes. Yesterday late evening Dino’s condition took a turn for the worse and his body stopped making clotting factors. Additional treatment was tried but his body did not respond. We had to make the impossible choice of letting go of our baby boy long before we ready to but so he could go peacefully while he was not in distress and surrounded by the people who loved him and celebrated his life. We are devastated but it was what was best for Dino. We would like to thank Anne Yeager Gibbs and K9 Hero Haven for doing such wonderful work for these beautiful heroes and for allowing Dino to be such an amazing part of our lives.
Thank you all for your prayers. Dino will be ever so missed by us.
K9 Hawk came to K9 Hero Haven on February 9th, 2022, after his retirement in law enforcement in NY. He was retired with spinal issues.
K9 Hawk loved spending time with RaeAnn and I, but it was clear Bill became his “person” while here at K9 Hero Haven. If either one of us had him, he would look for him. He especially loved their daily walks together.
He had fun on his last outing to see the Easter Bunny. He enjoyed his daily walks, hanging out and relaxing in the rec yard on his bed. He loved being able to sleep inside the retirement home on his thick mattress.
K9 Hawk’s retirement was brief, but he was able to enjoy being a “dog” . He loved his daily walks, rolling in the grass, watching traffic, going for a cheeseburger and relaxing daily here at the retirement home.
Yesterday was K9 Hawk’s physical. We had x rays completed as he continued to decline the last 2 weeks. The bones were deteriorating in the sacral area. His bladder was larger then it should be, which meant he was unable to empty it as he should. They suspected a possible tumor or cancer.
After talking it over with the vet, we felt it was best to let him pass with dignity and grace. We felt he was dealing with uncontrollable pain and was struggling even with pain medication several times daily.
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CWD Astra 47813
CWD Norus 47931
CWD Vagany 08064
K9 Junior came to K9 Hero Haven on 4/15/21 following his retirement from US Customs and Border Protection. He was adopted to his handler but unfortunately there was a incident with a child and he felt it was in his best interest to find another placement for him.
K9 Junior was a great working dog who loved working and did his job well. He was retired due to medical issues related to his spine & mobility, but you would have never known it to see him. He adjusted nicely while at K9 Hero Haven. He loved going on walks and rides. His biggest “quirk” was shredding towels or blankets when excited or geared up.
A message from his handler:
To my big boy Junior:
It was an amazing ride being your handler Junior. You amazed me with your talent for searching for narcotics. You made me a better handler and showed me that with patience we were a good team. You put numbers on the board at one of the busiest border in the United States and kept lots of drugs off the streets.
I still remember when I was assigned to you for the first time, and my instructor telling me, “okay, you have Junior, he is in our specially kennels” I was like, “oh no!!” Here I was thinking you were going to be a hand full, but I found out it was just because you were an escape artist and just liked to play with other dogs. Haha… And even though you were a knuckle head at times, I loved you so much.
Rehoming you was one of the hardest thing I’ve had to do in my life. But I wanted you to have the best retirement. And thanks to Krystal we found you K9 Hero Haven, where Anne welcomed you with open arms. For that bud, I couldn’t be any happier. Anne found you a lovable home with foster parents that fell in love with you and made you part of their family and gave you a wonderful retirement life. I wish it would have been longer, but even though it wasn’t for many years. I know you had a great retirement.
Rest easy my big boy. You will always be with me.
He was adopted to Maryanne and Don on 5/8/22. He had an amazing retirement home where he was very loved and spoiled. He definitely left knowing what love was & that he was a “good boy”
A message from his Mom:
Hi Anne, unfortunately I am writing with the worst possible news. My beautiful K9 Junior died yesterday. He was fine in the morning, ate his breakfast, played outside with Ziva. I had the day off so I went out to do some shopping and errands. When I got home about noon he was flat out on the floor. His gums were white, and he was pretty much unresponsive. I got him in the car asap but by the time we got to the vet he was gone.
My vet said that he could feel a swelling that he thought was probably a tumor on his spleen that had ruptured. He called me today to confirm that. He said his abdomen was full of blood.
Honestly I am just in shock. I can't believe that my boy is gone. In the 5 months that we had him, him and I became unbelievably attached. He was my baby, and my shadow. I can honestly say that he saved me when I was so depressed after losing Rambo. I can't imagine life without him!
We still have Ziva and Gunner, but the house seems empty. My Junior will forever be in my broken heart.
CWD Aero came to K9 Hero Haven on 12/15/19. She was retired dog we picked up after her family moved and left her in a shelter in GA. She was 12 years old at the time. She was adopted to Jean in Kansas on 1/10/20.
She had a wonderful retirement and was very loved and spoiled. She would of turned 14 in October.
A message from her Mom:
CWD Aero began to cry out in pain more often, she would pace and hasn’t slept for over a day, she didn’t understand what was happening, nor did I. I just wanted to comfort her! I sat on the floor hoping she'd calm down enough to rest, Twice with in a minute she had two pains, turned and bit me I’m sure out of frustration and pain. I took her to my vet that was about 45 miles away, during the ride I thought I had lost her… she couldn’t get out of my truck, I carried her in and decided the best love I could give was to let her go. My heart is broken. I remember when you asked me if I wanted Aero, warning that she had not been to the vet at K9 Hero Haven, as she was vetted at the shelter. I wanted her anyway, if she had any health problems I would handle them but she didn’t. She was a joy giving me more than I could have given in her retirement.
I am forever grateful, fly high war girl I will never forget you.
CWD Bizar started working in Afghanistan in 2011. He retired and came to K9 Hero Haven in March of 2018. He was adopted to Sophia and Brandon from PA on 7/14/18.
He was a great dog who loved everyone he met. He was always smiling. He had an amazing retirement life and was very loved and spoiled.
A message from Brandon and Sophia:
Bizar was laid to rest peacefully at his home with his mom and dad present by his side. He was sent off with a flag presentation by the local VFW and surrounding police department handlers and their K9s. Along with a lot of members of the community to honor him line the street with flags held in their hands. He will forever be loved, missed and we will forever be broken hearted.
CWD Nodjo retired from Iraq and came to K9 Hero Haven in December of 2016. He had surgery in June of 2017 to have cancer removed while staying at K9 Hero Haven. He adjusted well and healed up nicely after surgery. He was then adopted to Jen and Matt in Ohio on 7/1/17.
CWD Nodjo was very sweet and loved everyone he met. He loved to shake paws with you. He had a wonderful retirement home where he was very loved and spoiled.
CWD Tina 93994
CWD Piko PEDD retired at the age of 7.5 after serving in Afghanistan. He was adopted to Ben and Tammy on 12/4/15. He was a beautiful, sweet boy who loved and enjoyed life. He will be greatly missed by his family.
CWD Piko PEDD passed away in his sleep peacefully. Thank you for your service CWD Piko. You will be greatly missed.
CWD Aron2 47920
K9 Demo came to K9 Hero Haven in September of 2018 following his retirement from law enforcement in SC.
He was adopted to Scott & Shelby on 4/19/19 in NY. He was a retired cadaver dog and needed to be in an only dog home.
He had close to 4 wonderful years of retirement. He was very loved and spoiled as part of their family. He left knowing what love was. He was their “best friend”.
A message from Mom & Dad:
I am completely heartbroken and beside myself at this point. He has been my absolute best friend for the past four years and I would do anything for him.
He’s been declining dramatically for the past few months and it’s so hard to watch. He’s such an intelligent dog, which I think has made it even harder that it’s his body giving up on him because he gets upset with himself that he can’t control what’s happening.
I can’t thank you enough for blessing us with Demo. Our lives have revolved around him and I don’t know what I’m going to do going forward to be honest. He has been the best dog and literal child we could have ever asked for.
It’s funny because I’m the beginning this was supposed to be Scott’s dog and I was super strict with him saying “no couch” and whatever else. But within a month he completely stole my heart and slept in our bed every night until he could no longer go up the stairs. The past few months that he’s been sick I have slept on the couch downstairs with him most nights because we didn’t want him to be alone.
He is so intelligent and caring. While he’s close to 80lbs he always knows the perfect time to be a lap dog and give us extra kisses and love over the years. Since we’ve had him he’s gotten to go on vacation multiple times with us and I think loved every minute. Last year we went to fire island and I swear he was so relaxed, when he got home he needed a vacation from his vacation
This year we went back but made sure to have a wagon he could go in incase he couldn’t walk but so he could still be with us the whole time.
Again I just want to say thank you for blessing us with him. He is the absolute best dog. He listened very well. It is sad his life was cut short because his body failed him. He had so much love to give.
CWD Ciko was pulled from a working dog program due to aggressive behavior and came to K9 Hero Haven in February of 2018. He came here medicated and muzzled, growling at times.
Even though he came here with aggressive issues, he adjusted well and did very well here with everyone he worked with.
He loved rec time and playing with his toys, especially jolly balls and jumblers. He loved playing with large sticks. He also loved to flatten large basketballs and soccer balls.
He passed away during the night due to bloat. We never saw any symptoms. When he was taken to the vet's for an exam and to be cremated, the vet felt it happened quickly and even if I had caught it, she said it may not have made a difference. He was a strong dog and when you walked him, he could pull you right off your feet, but he listened amazingly and loved going for rides. He made such great strides and improvement here. He never showed any aggressive behavior here. He was always a “good boy”.
CWD Doxa retired from Iraq and came to K9 Hero Haven in December of 2017. He also worked in Afghanistan for several years. He was a dog who bonded and loved his person, but it took time. He was slow to trust as first but over time he slowly began to relax and enjoy retirement. He was like our “grumpy old man” here.
We would also say that when he looked at you, he could see your soul. He had piercing eyes. He was a dog who stood back and took it all in. You couldn’t fool him, he knew exactly how many treats you had and which pocket you had them. If you told him, you didn’t have any, he would stare at you because he knew you were lying lol.
In time, I was able to have him attend events as an ambassador for K9 Hero Haven. He was a sweet, mellow dog, who loved relaxing and “just watching“. If he didn’t trust you, he wouldn’t listen to you. If you pushed him, he would growl.
I stayed in contact with one of his handlers who would always ask about him and loved updates on him. CWD Doxa was his life in Afghanistan but unfortunately he was unable to keep him, but he never forgot him.
Today CWD Doxa didn’t eat, he tried but vomited up what he did eat. He was walking in the am but wasn’t able to stand up by noon. He had a history of arthritis with his hips but this definitely seemed like something more involved so we went to the emergency vet. After his physical, x rays and an ultrasound, they realized he had a mass on the spleen that ruptured. He was bleeding internally. After talking over everything with the vet, we felt it was best to let him pass with dignity and grace. Surgery wasn’t an option especially adding his age and his mobility and hip issues. There was also concerns with his heart.
K9 Shadow came to K9 Hero Haven on 3/29/22 following the closing of a K9 program at a correctional facility. She was 10 years old. Prior to corrections she was with a State Police Trooper.
We tried her in an adoption home on 4/19/22 but unfortunately she did not work out there and needed to find another home.
A message from Mom & Dad:
Last year when Anne called me and asked if I could help with an emergency pick up. We really had not thought about another dog having just lost CWD Tina. Long story short I took an 11 hour drive to pick her up and an 11 hour drive to bring her home. Not knowing what to expect we just opened our doors and hearts to this beautiful funny, sassy , talkative girl.
Shadow was beautiful, unfortunately she had some health issues, pannus and DM. Both manageable for a while.
I tried to take her on some adventures, but with her limited mobility we didn’t get around as much as we would have liked to.
K9 Shadow was the sweetest dog I have ever met. Seriously I don’t know how she was a police dog as she loved everybody. I guess she could lick you to death. (I did find the one person she didn’t like was a drunk person. I don’t blame her) We loved her so much.
Our house is eerily quiet, but I know I will be finding her hair for a good long time.
I have spent the last month sleeping beside her on the couch. I didn’t want her to try to find me. Which she would do frequently all night long. She was really a mommy’s girl. But like I said she was so sweet, that she loved everyone.
We were only 2 weeks from our one year gotcha day. I was hoping that we could make it but it was not to be. So she had a good last day with a ride in the car (her favorite thing), steak for dinner, steak for breakfast. Lots of snacks and her head in my lap as we said our goodbyes. It was very peaceful.
I miss her so much. She was quite a character and always made us laugh.
So, thank you Anne for allowing us the privilege of having Shadow with us. She had one great, very much loved year.
Kathy and Dean
CWD Rocky3 36839
09/17/08 - 01/29/21
CWD Kingo PNDD retired from Afghanistan and came to K9 Hero Haven in October of 2018. He retired at 8 years of age after working for 6 years in Afghanistan. He was adopted to Allen in PA on 1/13/19.
Kingo was a great dog who loved his family and his person. He stayed real close to Allen and loved following him everywhere he went.
When Kingo retired he had some issues with his liver. He had an elevated ALT and had some issues with an enlarged spleen. Allen was able to maintain both of those issues with follow up from his vet, but recently his arthritis had gotten much worse and recently he lost his mobility and was unable to stand up.