Rescued Pit Bull brings good karma to her new Army family

Rescued Pit Bull brings good karma to her new Army family

After the loss of their previous pet an Army family discovers good karma comes with rescuing another four-legged soul.

A great foundation

Dustin served in the Army from 1993 to 1996. He did basic and advanced individual training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, which would be his duty station for the next three years.

The Army veteran advanced to become the training non-commissioned officer (NCO) of his unit, Bravo Company 577th Engineer Battalion of the 1st Engineer Brigade. These NCOs are responsible for the training plans, assessments, reports, operating procedures, and other essential aspects of both individual and unit training.

Apart from its storied rigor, the military is known for fostering a deep camaraderie among its service members – essential for unit cohesion. Dustin credits the bonds he formed during his enlistment as the best part of his experience serving his country.

“[The] most memorable time I had was the friendship I made with those in my unit,” he says, “and [I] have stayed in touch with some of them many years after our enrollment ended.”

The next chapter

That deep sense of companionship and brotherhood inspired Dustin to pay forward what he learned through his military experiences. For more than a decade he has volunteered with the Boy Scouts of America to help cultivate the next generation of leaders.Rescued Pit Bull brings good karma to her new Army family

And then there is the Army veteran’s irrepressible love of nature.

“[I] love going to the mountains and spending time outdoors,” he says.

For Dustin, an essential part of enjoying outdoor life is a pet’s companionship. His family had a dog for ten years who then passed away unexpectedly.

The void was crushing, and palpable to everyone in Dustin’s household.

Thankfully the family decided to adopt their next pet from the shelter instead of purchasing one from a commercial pet store or breeder.

Choosing adoption gives unwanted animals a sense of belonging and a second chance at life. Too many shelter animals face the prospect of permanent homelessness or death if not adopted.

Each year the number of pets killed due to lack of adopters would fill all Major League Baseball stadiums combined.

Dustin recognized the good karma associated with saving an animal who had been cast aside by others. Most dogs and cats entering shelters are strays or owner surrenders, still others were rescued from abuse, neglect, or other cruelty.

Finding support and family

Like many veterans in our program, Dustin credits word of mouth for learning about our companion pet adoption program. He values our exclusive commitments to current and former members of the United States armed forces.

“I had heard from other people about Pets for Patriots and researched it,” Dustin explains. “I wanted to deal with someone that supported veterans.”

Our purpose is to give veterans the emotional support they need while saving shelter dogs and cats few people want. The program benefits we offer help make pet adoption more affordable over the course of an animal’s life and help reduce pet surrender due to financial or personal crises.

Dustin decided to work with us to find a companion dog for his family. He was approved into our program in early November 2020, but it would not be til April the following year that good karma would come to him in the form of a four-legged friend.

Good Karma

In early March 2021 a big, beautiful dog was taken in by Blount County Animal Center.

Since 2014 the shelter has made more than 130 fee-waived adoptions through our partnership. Little did this then four year-old, chestnut furred Pit Bull know that she would be soon become a ‘plus one’ on that list.

However, the dog was a hard to place pet with a few strikes against her: large, adult, and with a breed mix that is often maligned unjustly. Either her size or age alone qualified her as a pet eligible for adoption through Pets for Patriots.

Thankfully Dustin and his family were not deterred by the prospect of adopting a Pit Bull. Even her name – Karma – made the Army veteran believe that he was making the right decision to add her to his household.

So several weeks after Karma entered Blount County Animal Center she became part of Dustin’s military family.

Pup-cup destroyer

True to her namesake, Karma has a sweet and loving personality. To this day she welcomes every family member upon their return home with her trademark joy.

“Karma has been a wonderful addition to our family,” Dustin shares. “Every time we return home from work she is so excited and very loyal.”Rescued Pit Bull brings good karma to her new Army family

The sweet Pit Bull has created her own special place within the family, whether joining them for outdoor adventures or snuggling with them in bed.

And Karma is the loyal companion upon whom Dustin relies – much as he counted on his fellow soldiers during his time in service.

Above all, Karma reminds Dustin and his family to seize every moment of every day. She has an incredible zest for life that uplifts everyone in her household.

“She loves to go outside on car rides, especially when you go to somewhere that offers a ‘pup-cup’ and she just destroys it,” Dustin says.

“She loves to go on walks, just wagging her tail and strutting herself, smiling the whole time.”

Dogs make us happy with their contagious, positive, and healing energy, and enhance peoples’ physical and mental health. They help lower blood pressure, stress, and incidence of depression. And then there is their unconditional love for which they ask so little in return.

Dustin and his family learned that it is good karma to adopt and not shop for a pet. And they have been rewarded handsomely for that decision.

“We can’t imagine our life without her.”

1 Comment

  1. MJ

    Dustin, thank you for saving Karma and bringing her into your home. I hope you have many years of joy and happiness with her, and thank you for your service.

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