Air Force couple with heart for rescue gives death row dog his wings

Air Force couple with heart for rescue gives death row dog his wings

A death row dog spared by a Georgia animal shelter earns his freedom, thanks to a pair of Air Force veterans.

Love is in the air

Paige and her fiancé Kevin share a dedication to serving our country. They share other passions as well: fostering – and adopting – rescue dogs.

In 2017 Paige enlisted in the Air Force. The following year she was stationed at Ramstein Air Force Base (AFB) in Germany.

For five years she served in active duty before transitioning to the reserves. Her most recent duty station was Moody AFB in Georgia. It was there from which she made her final separation from service in May 2024.

This final duty station was memorable for many reasons. Chief among them is that it is where she met the man she is set to marry.

“Both Kevin and I worked together at Moody, AFB,” she says. “We were great friends and eventually started dating during our time here. Now we are getting married in July 2024!”

It was an overseas deployment that cemented the couple’s love.

“We were deployed together to Jordan in 2022 and have been inseparable since.”

Paige is now a full-time student in pursuit of her master of social work. She provides therapy to children coping with trauma as an intern at a local advocacy center.

And Kevin just marked 10 years in the Air Force, where he serves as a section chief of communications. Recently he received permanent change of station, or PCS orders, to Fort Bragg in North Carolina.

The couple – and their dogs – will make the move together. And it will include a death row dog who was given a second chance at life.

Giving back

Paige and Kevin share twin passions of service to country and a love of rescue dogs. Each already had a dog when they met.

“Both Kevin and I came into our relationship with a dog of our own. My dog’s name is Monty, who is a black Lab mix. His dog’s name is Ace, who is a Golden Retriever,” she says. “Both of these dogs quickly became our family.”

Paige had a busy schedule between reserve duties, full-time college, and her internship. Yet the Air Force veteran still found time to volunteer as a puppy foster for a local animal shelter.

Foster in waiting

For more than a year Paige volunteered with Humane Society of Valdosta-Lowndes County. The shelter partners with Pets for Patriots to help local veterans adopt dogs and cats in their care.Air Force couple with heart for rescue gives death row dog his wings

The Air Force veteran was eager to foster dogs in need. But one of her resident dogs, Ace, was reactive to other dogs except for his rescue brother, Monty.

So one day the shelter decided to let Paige foster a sweet young puppy. To everyone’s surprise – and delight – Ace tolerated the little pup.

That realization would be lifesaving for a death row dog whose own young life was on the verge of coming to a tragic end.

Death row dog

Remy was only three months old when he was surrendered to a local shelter to be euthanized, or killed. The person who gave him up had purchased him from a breeder and did not like the shape of his back.

People surrender pets for all kinds of reasons, some legitimate and many not. It is particularly callous to want a dog killed for not meeting an arbitrary criteria of beauty.

Humane Society of Valdosta-Lowndes County pulled Remy from the shelter to spare his life. Now he would have a chance to find a home after all.

Soon this death row dog would learn that he had two more heroes in the wings.

The dog who went to prison

Paige and Kevin offered to foster Remy. They believed that Ace would be accepting, which he was. Shelter staff describe Remy as “the sweetest soul.”

Yet as the months marched on this former death row dog still had not found a permanent home. All the while his Air Force foster parents were falling in love with him. Kevin would even carry Remy around like a baby.Air Force couple with heart for rescue gives death row dog his wings

During this time the shelter had other teenage pups who were not finding homes, either.

So Remy was among a group of youngsters sent to a prison dog-training program. The goal is to give dogs basic manners to improve their adoption potential.

Ten weeks of training came and went, and still not a single person applied to adopt Remy. Despite being best in class, no one wanted him.

Foster failures

Paige and Kevin once again offered to foster Remy after he graduated from training. This would give the shelter time to come up with another approach to find this death row dog a home.

But something happened when Remy graduated. He went back to his foster home and claimed his favorite spot on the couch. It was as though he was saying that he was already home.

Paige reached out to the shelter to discuss her change of heart. She asked if it was too late for Remy to stay and join her dual military, multi-dog family – for life.

Staff at Humane Society of Valdosta-Lowndes County told Paige about our companion pet adoption program. She applied and a day after we approved her application she made Remy’s adoption official.

Remy – the former death row dog – would live out his days as part of Paige’s and Kevin’s pack.

“We always said we had a third spot for a dog,” Paige explains, “but loved fostering and didn’t want to give up the spot until we found our perfect dog. Remy was just that.”

“…the perfect companion”

The decision to become a foster failure was not a difficult one for Paige and Kevin. It is as though Remy always knew where he belonged. He was just waiting for his caretakers to realize it, too.Air Force couple with heart for rescue gives death row dog his wings

“Remy fit in seamlessly with Ace and Monty like he had always been a part of the family,” Paige says.

“When he did not receive any applications for adoption, we knew he was the third dog we needed for our family.”

It would seem that Paige’s and Kevin’s home is not lacking for energy. Still, Remy brought newfound spirit to their bustling household.

“He always keeps us on our toes and laughing,” Paige says.

“There’s just something about him that is so sweet and lovable, but he also has a great deal of sassiness at the same time.”

Looking back at Remy’s still young life shows a series of improbable odds against him.

Bought by someone who did not value his life. Given over to a shelter with the request that he be killed. Pulled by another shelter that had no shortage of young dogs who needed homes. Fostered by a busy military couple who already had two dogs. A total lack of interest by would-be adopters, even after he graduated top of his dog training class.

Some things in life are meant to be. Remy was destined to be with Paige and Kevin – and Monty and, yes, even Ace.

That lesson is not lost on this death row dog’s saviors.

“We love Remy’s positive attitude and fearlessness,” Paige says. “He’s up for everything and has made the perfect companion.”


  1. Georgia-Ann Chulko

    This brought tears to my eyes. Happiness to all of you. Have a lovely marriage. You are already flying high!

  2. Robert Driscoll

    Thank you for giving Remy the home he needed. Love to all of your family.

  3. MJ

    Possibly, deep down inside, you knew from the beginning that Remy was going to be your foster failure. I fell in love with him just from looking at his photos, so I can imagine he’s a serious heart-stealer IRL.

    God bless you for adopting, and for your service,

  4. Carolyn J Miller

    Service, love, and loyalty are priceless characteristics of both of you. Special people do what you did. I have 2 large rescue boys that nobody wanted because one was old and homely and the other guy was very young and big, rambunctious, no “manners” or training but very healthy handsome, and eyes that spoke to my heart. Thank you for caring, kindness, and acting to save Remy’s life!!

  5. John A. Smaldone

    What a beautiful story,

    Hats off to Paige and Kevin. This is the way all adoptions should end. This was a sad story, Remy would not have been here today if it were not for Paige and Kevin. You did a great service to all and yourselves!

    Thank you,



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