Note: To protect the identity and location of the soldier, he will be referred to as Army Specialist Al.

Paws of War is trying its best to help a soldier bring home a puppy he saved overseas.

And they can use the community’s help.

The Nesconset-based nonprofit, which rescues and trains shelter dogs for veterans and first responders that suffer from PTSD, is collecting donations to bring home little Laila, an abandoned puppy Army Specialist Al saved from frigid winter temperatures. 

He was walking near the base when he heard whimpering coming from a box.

He brought her inside to warm up, fed her, and named her — forming an inseparable bond between the two ever since.

After learning he was being deployed to a new location and was informed he couldn’t take Laila, he turned to Paws of War to assist in bringing her home to his family in the U.S.

“I love this dog and can’t imagine leaving her here to fend for herself,” he said. “I heard that Paws of War helps with situations like this and it’s such a relief to me, and I’m sure it is to Laila, too. I will be so grateful to get her back to my family in the US, and have her waiting for me when I return.”

This is done through the Paws of War’s War Torn Pups and Cats program.

The organization says it is very common for soldiers to rescue and befriend animals while they are deployed overseas, and it brings them much joy and helps them get through their tour of duty.

To help bring the dog home, the organization relies heavily on donations from the community to cover the costs of bringing the animals home to the U.S. safely. 

“The pain of having to leave a dog or cat behind that you have rescued while serving is unbearable,” Derek Cartwright, disabled veteran and stateside logistics coordinator at Paws of War said. “Soldiers are asked to sacrifice and endure so much when they are serving. The anguish I felt when I had to leave my rescued dog behind made my transition to civilian life so much harder. If I had only known about Paws of War my life would be different.”

Those who want to help bring Laila home to America to live with Spc. Al and his wife can make a donation through Paw of War’s website.

Top: Army Specialist Al holding Laila, photo credit to @pawsofwar on Instagram.