U.S. Army Platoon Commander Kristen St. Pierre has been reunited with someone she hadn't seen since she left Afghanistan in 2019: her military working dog Chase.
She had to leave Afghanistan and leave the dog behind when she deployed her tour of duty. She didn't know the dog's whereabouts or even if he was still alive. During the fall of Afghanistan in the chaotic weeks and months that followed as U.S. troops withdrew and Afghans fled in droves, Chase disappeared.
"Chase was a piece of home during our time in Afghanistan," said St. Pierre, who said she didn't really realize how difficult saying goodbye would be.
But thanks to social media fate and the determination of Charlotte Maxwell-Jones, the American founder of Kabul Small Animal Rescue brought the dog and its handler together in a "moment of hope," St. Pierre said.
The process is exhausting and onerous, Maxwell-Jones say, but she continues because she "believes that animals' lives actually matter just as much as other lives."
In Afghanistan, she says, "There's about 10,000 humanitarian organizations, and when it comes to animals, there's us."
Chase is settling into his new home in Fort Benning, Georgia, where St. Pierre and her husband reside. He still "maintained trust in humans" and loves getting his "belly rubbed," said St. Pierre. She says getting Chase to the United States has been surreal and shows her that "humanity is still occurring in Afghanistan." Here's more on this amazing reunion!