When Kristen St. Pierre returned from work in Afghanistan in 2019, she left behind her bomb-sniffing companion, Chase.
As she shared on Facebook, despite being safe and sound in Georgia, St. Pierre couldn’t get the thought of Chase out of her mind and she regularly caught up with his new military handler to see photos and updates.
However, in 2021, the United States troops abruptly left Afghanistan 20 years after invading the country. Amidst the chaos of the sudden withdrawal, St. Pierre lost touch with Chase and was unsure of what happened to him.
Speaking with CBS News, she said: “I heard Chase and other dogs would be on flights to the U.S. and Europe. The next I heard the dogs weren’t allowed on the planes and they were released from the airport with little chance of survival.”
A nonprofit vet clinic and animal shelter in Afghanistan, the Kabul Small Animal Rescue, confirmed that was true.
They shared on Facebook that the U.S. military chose to release the dogs at the airport to die, rather than allowing the dogs to return to the Kabul Small Animal Rescue clinic where they were being housed “following a series of failed charter evacuation flights.”
Staff of the rescue spent months working to recover the lost dogs, and St. Pierre kept a close watch on their social media channels just in case they managed to find Chase. However, as weeks turned to months, it seemed evident that Chase was dead.
Miraculously, in November of 2022, 15 months after the U.S. military released the dogs to die, the rescue shared an update on Facebook saying:
“We have never stopped looking for them and trying to recover them, and today we have brought home one more. Chase has just had a much needed bath and is getting the spa treatment from our team of vets, to be followed by a chicken dinner and soft bed to sleep in.”
Of course, St. Pierre was quick to reach out to the rescue and ask if she could adopt Chase.
It took months of paperwork and hurdles to overcome, but in April of 2023, Chase finally arrived home in Georga.