Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 1 of 1 Posts

808 Posts
Discussion Starter #1

Local Veternarian saves war hero:

"This dog was a war hero. No way I was letting them put him down." - Dr. Michael Pitt, a Van Nuys veterinarian.

Dan had already served two tours of duty in Iraq when he got sick. The news wasn't good.

The 4-year-old, bomb-sniffing German shepherd needed surgery for unhealed, infected wounds covering the hind side of his body.

It would cost $400 a month in medication for a long time before he would be well enough to get back to doing his job.

Saving lives.

The military didn't have the time to wait for Dan to get better or the veterinary expertise in Iraq to medically treat him for an extended period.

Dan was shipped stateside back to the Global Training Academy near San Antonio, Texas, where he had been trained for military duty.

The academy trains mainly Belgian Malinois, and German and Dutch shepherd breeds for police department K9 units, search and rescue operations, arson units and the military.

It's a business, not a charity or recovery center. They try to find homes for the dogs that wash out - fail in their training - or injured dogs, like Dan.

But if they can't, the dogs are euthanized. Like I said, it's a business.

"His trainer at the academy called about three months ago and told me about Dan's war record, his injury, and that he was going to be put to sleep," said Dr. Michael Pitt, veterinarian at Mid Valley Veterinary Hospital in Van Nuys.

Pitt and his wife, Dinna, had already rescued another dog from the academy - Rex, a Belgian Malinois. Rex had washed out of military training because of an injury.

The Pitts flew to San Antonio, rented a van and drove Rex - who now lives with them - two days cross country back to Van Nuys.

"It was like Rex knew they were going to put him to sleep," Dinna Pitt said Monday. "He was living in a cage, and when we walked in, he ran out to the van and jumped in like he knew what was going on.

"For two days' driving, he didn't make a peep. I think he wanted to be good so we wouldn't take him back."

The Pitts would never have taken Rex back, and they were not about to let a war hero like Dan be put to sleep.

"This dog risked his life for you and me," Dinna says. "He deserves better."

The academy agreed to fly Dan to Los Angeles, where Mike and Dinna picked him up in the LAX cargo area a few months ago.

"Dan immediately loved Mike, but he was aggressive to me and others," Dinna said. "We were at wits' end at what to do."

While Mike nursed Dan back to health, Dinna searched the Internet to see what to do about Dan's aggressiveness. Exercise - a lot of it - could help.

"We hired a dog hiker who took him for long, long walks and swimming every day. The edge started to come off Dan. Now he's a beautiful, playful dog."

His injury is just about healed and he's been neutered, Mike says.

"Now all I need to do is find the right home for him."

If you want a war hero for a pet, give Pitt a call at 818-705-4585. The Mid Valley Veterinary Hospital is located at 17280 Saticoy St. in Van Nuys.
1 - 1 of 1 Posts