Marine fights to adopt disabled MWD and Iraq war partner

Megan and Rex

A Marine and a disabled MWD (military war dog) are in the fight of their lives: trying to spend their lives together  as friends after fighting side by side in Iraq. Now Megan Leavey and Rex have some power in their corner. 

Megan and Rex

Photo credit Peter Carr/The Journal News

Influential New York State Senator Chuck Schumer has already written a letter to the secretary of the Air Force, which is responsible for all training and adoptions of MWDs at Lackland Air Force Base. We hope to do our part by creating more awareness of Megan’s efforts to give Rex, her battle buddy and savior, the life he deserves in a loving home.

Both suffered serious injuries following the explosion of an IED (improvised explosive device) in Iraq, and spent almost a year recovering from their respective injuries. Since separating from service in 2007 with a Purple Heart, Megan has been trying to adopt Rex. Until recently, he was considered too valuable as a working dog and her requests were denied. However, Rex was diagnosed recently with a type of nerve paralysis that has left him – Camp Pendleton’s oldest active service dog – unable to serve.

We don’t know if sharing this story can do more than a letter from a well-known senator. After all, we’re not famous or connected. But at Pets for Patriots, we believe the power of people can inspire great things. Several months ago a simple blog post saved Rocky, another disabled, retired MWD who faced a very bleak future; as a result of our post, Rocky was saved.

Although we have no information that Megan will not ultimately be allowed to adopt Rex, we hope he can serve the rest of his days in the loving companionship of his best friend Megan.

How can you help? Just share this story; good goes around!


Sign the petition to the Secretary of the Air Force here.



  1. Annetta

    I think the best things for the vets and their dogs is to be together. They did battle together and should have peace together. I’m in my 60’s and have had dogs all my life until I lost

    my lab after 13 yrs. Broke my heart but I’m ready to give a home to one of these dogs

    if there is a way. Any branch of the service can have someone check me and my home out to

    make sure all is ok and believe me it is. Use to have a sheperd many years ago and both my

    dogs seem to find their way on the other side of the bed. If someone knows if possible to

    get one through the service could you let me know. I live close to Ft. Leavenworth, KS and my daughter is at Whitman Air Force Base about 2 hrs. from me. Would love to get a dog a great home with tons of love!

  2. Amy

    I contacted Lackland AFB and the TSgt, USAF NCOIC, DoD MWD Logistics, informed me that “…the disposition decision on Rex rests with the commander having oversight of Camp

    Pendleton’s kennels…Questions and inquires on MWD Rex can be directed to Camp Pendleton Public Affairs: 760-725-5044 or 760-725-5043”

    I hope this helps direct efforts.

  3. Dawn

    I’ve shared this story and These people want to offer there services. Please contact them ASAP

    The Lexus Project- Have Megan contact us at

    • Pets for Patriots

      We don’t have Megan’s contact info; we are simply sharing the story in the hopes that greater awareness will effect a positive outcome for Megan and Rex.

      • Dawn

        Well I hope the message gets to her. There offices handles cases like hers and gets good results.

  4. earl Hopkins

    You should post the link to that senator so we all can write to express our support

    • Pets for Patriots

      Brock, we fundraise only for causes that are directly related to our mission of connecting last-chance shelter dogs and cats with service members and veterans. Our contribution to this Marine and Rex is to try to create as much awareness of their plight as possible, but thank you for the suggestion.

  5. Dianne

    Military animals have souls lives as well as there human members they should have the right to a better life. After all they gave there all as well. Use FACEBOOK spread the word there are thousand of animal right and people like myself, that will help tell your stories with Pride and dedication. Proud to be United States Navy.

  6. cliff medney

    started a Causes petition 30 min ago- this is insane! we love Sen Chuck and see President Obama as a sensitive dog parent-plus his dog, Bo knows… better!

    • DDee

      Please share the Causes petition title so we can sign, recruit & share. Thanks.

      • Pets for Patriots

        DDee, thank you; we just updated at the bottom of the post with a link to the petition.

  7. Thomas S

    I guess i’m too much of a dog lover. As a former K-9 MP I could never see my MWD as a piece of equipment. A piece of equipment won’t lay down it’s life to protect you unconditionally.

  8. Theresa & Prudence

    We’ll be sharing this on Pru’s blog and FaceBook. Sen. Schumer has a lot of influence, hopefully his letter will help to reunite them.

  9. Jason Chambers

    Anyone know this Marines last name?

    • Kay

      It’s mentioned in the second sentence of the first paragraph.

  10. Pets for Patriots

    Hi Deidra…thanks for sharing your MWD adoption experience. Lackland AFB handles all MWD adoptions and training, regardless of in which armed forces the animal served. Maybe it’s changed since you adopted, but we share your hope that Rex gets adopted too!

  11. Deidra H


    We had to fight to bring our MWD home as well. We were able to do so with the help of an O6 in the Army contracting division. When the dogs are left “unserviceable,” (I know just like a piece of equipment, but they are alive.) It opens up a clause just like buying military surplus. All we had to do is sign off that he would never be worked for profit again and we were able to adopt him. I hope it is the same for the Air Force.

    Deidra H

    • Thomas S

      I guess I’m too much of a dog lover. I’m a former K-9 MP and I never could see my MWD as a piece of equipment. A piece of equipment won’t lay down it’s life for you unconditionally.


  1. #Marine fights to #adopt her #military #war #dog. Sharing this might #help them out! PLZ RT! « kissbeep - [...] From the blog Pets for Patriots:  [...]

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