The issue of adoption of war hero dogs has long been an area of controversy, especially among veterans who have found it next to impossible to reunite with the dogs they sacrificed so much with.
While we reported back in July that work was underway to fix this problem, it appears that this issue is much deeper and more troubling than ever thought.
Much of this circles around a third party company called K2 Solutions Inc., located in Southern Pines, NC., which has a contract with the U.S. government to handle the post-service care and adoption of these animals.
These dogs are in extremely high demand, and have been seen as status symbols in the local community. Veterans who have contacted them have been routinely given the run around and told that they did not know where the dog was or that they had been given out for adoption.
This has lead to numerous vets suffering from PTSD that they never realized they had. One former handler told the New York Post:
“When I contacted K2, they were like, ‘She’s gone and adopted out,’ ” says Brian Kornse, who did three tours of duty and has PTSD. “I got in contact with them in February of 2014” — the same month K2 was holding multiple adoption events.
Kornse believes his dog, a black Lab named Fistik, was given to a former Pentagon employee, Leo Gonnering, who may still have been working for the government in 2014. A man who left a voicemail for The Post from “Leo’s phone” said Gonnering “adopted the dog from the Army two years ago. He and his family have no intention of giving the dog up to his prior handler.” He named Kornse as the likely handler and has renamed the dog Mystic.
“I guess I had PTSD before, but I never really noticed till I gave Fistik up,” Kornse says. “I started having nightmares. I never experienced that before. She made everything better for me — that’s the best way I can describe it.”
Adoption days are described in horrible terms, with dogs being scooped up by people lying about being law enforcement officers (who get first priority) and many of whom had no idea what these dogs have been through and that many of them had PTSD.
K2 is also accused of working in collusion Army officials and one official from OPMG named Robert Squires actually was working to subvert some dogs from going back to their handlers.
One of the most troubling stories is that of men claiming to be ex-secret service buying dogs for $30,000 in an alleged deal with the government of Panama who was planning to buy them for double.
One K-2 Employee told the New York Post:
“If they lied to K2 and were planning to sell, they’d be in serious amounts of s- -t. That’s illegal. And if K2 knew about that, that’s even more illegal.”
What makes all of this concerning is that each of these dogs has either implanted microchips or tattoos to identify who they are and who handled them.
K2 CEO Lane Kjellsen blames all of the wrongful and secretive re-homing of these dogs on the Army and refused to give specifics unless subpoenaed.
What can be done to rectify this awful situation? Sound off in the comments below!