MAKAHA, Hawaii (April 10, 2012) -- Beefy, Creamy, Flash, Mr. Henry, Snoopy and Stumpy owe their lives to Spc. Erik Lowe, 9th Mission Support Command, and his wife, Martina.
During a routine morning run by his home, here, Jan. 29, a faint whimpering in nearby bushes brought Erik Lowe to a halt.
From the distance, he thought the whimpering was a couple of cats. However, nothing could have prepared him for what he and his wife were about to see: 14 newborn puppies covered in bugs, fleas and blood.
Six were lying motionless in a plastic bag and eight more were placed around the bag. After securing his own dog, Chico, the Lowe's wrapped the day-old puppies in a blanket and rushed them to the nearby Waianae Veterinary Clinic.
Two died within the first 24 hours, and with round-the-clock bottle-feeding, constant attention and love, the Lowe's nursed six back to life.
Of the surviving six Labrador retriever-German pointer mix pups, four have found loving homes, but Flash and Beefy are still up for adoption.
"Since these puppies were hand raised, they need to go to someone who has time for them," Martina said, adding that all the puppies are up-to-date on all their shots. "We do not want these dogs to end up chained-up outside in someone's yard, be used for hunting or fighting. They are family dogs."
Now nine-weeks old, one would never guess these pups had a brush with death.
"I don't know what kind of person could just throw a living creature away," Erik said. "It was a lot of work to get them where they are today, but I would do it again in a heartbeat."
To read more about the Lowe's puppy rescue, visit http://lowepuppyrescue.blogspot.com.
APRIL IS ANIMAL CRUELTY PREVENTION MONTH
Having a pet is a lifetime commitment and pets are not disposable.
According to U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii's policy memorandum, "Discipline, Law and Order," it is illegal to abandon animals on military installations.
Furthermore, Hawaii state law (143-2.6) on animal desertion states, "It shall be unlawful for the owner of any animal or any person in possession of an animal that belongs to another person to leave the animal without the intention of returning to it. Any person who violates this section shall be guilty of a petty misdemeanor."
The Defense Department is seeking greater authority from the president to prosecute service members who abandon their pets -- a perennial problem within the transient military community.
The Pentagon wants to broaden its current animal cruelty policy to include abandonment and to cover pets.
Troops already can be charged with "dereliction of duty" and "conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline" for abandoning or physically harming their family pets. Efforts are underway to make animal cruelty, including dumping and abandonment, a specific Uniform Code of Military Justice offense.
President Barack Obama is expected to rule on the Pentagon's request this spring.
(Editor's Note: Information compiled from www.stripes.com.)