13 Retired Military Dogs Come Home for the Holidays

December 6, 2016

It was a hero homecoming — with a few cheers and more barks.

Last week, thirteen hero pups came home for the holidays, returning to the United States after serving tours in Kuwait.

A group called Mission K9 Rescue is helping many of the retired explosive detection dogs acclimate and find homes following their service to our country, and PEOPLE has an inside look at how it’s going.

The rescue — who has partnered with the United States War Dogs Association (USWDA) and the Petco Foundation — is working to re-home and rehabilitate the working dogs named Ace, Andy, Charlie, Eman, Google, Haneen, Heckey, Jodie, Keeley, Max, Molten, Trigger, and Uno, who arrived at Houston airport on Thursday (watch their procession of dog crates in the video below).

“These dogs are retired, and all of their lives they have trained like professional athletes,” said Kristen Maurer, co founder and president of Mission K9 Rescue. “Just like athletes, when they retire, they have a lot of medical issues. Mission K9 Rescue sees to it that all of these are taken care of before we adopt them into homes.”

Some of the dogs will be reunited with handlers they worked or trained with and Mission K9 Rescue is charged with making those reunions happen.

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