Civilian Mom Gives Adopted Dog to the Handler Military Promised Him To

After finding out the dog she adopted had been promised to his handler by the military upon retirement, Kim Scarborough made good on that broken promise.

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On Saturday, Army vet Julio Muñoz finally got to bring home the dog that he trained and worked with overseas.  Ben and Munoz fought alongside each other in Afghanistan, and when Munoz finished his last tour of duty, he was told that once Ben was ready to retire he would have the ability to adopt him.  However, that almost didn’t happen.

Not only did Munoz almost not get to adopt Ben, but many other retired military personnel that were told they’d be allowed to adopt the dogs they served with almost didn’t get that chance either.  In fact, thanks to at least two Pentagon employees and a third party military contractor called K2, many of our retired heroes found out they weren’t going to be getting their dogs, because they were being shipped off to civilians instead.

Kim Scarborough was one of the civilians who found herself with a former military dog.  She actually adopted Ben, and after looking at his deployment paperwork, she found out who his handler was.  When she learned about the Pentagon and K2’s scam of basically selling off the dogs instead of them going to their handlers, she reached out to the New York Post, who was one of the first media outlets to report on the story.


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“If the handler wants Ben, he belongs to him.  Period, the end,” Kim said to The Post.

Julio was happy to have her reach out to him, but the selfless soldier didn’t want to completely disrupt Ben, especially if he was happy and doing well with his new family members.

“I wouldn’t want to ruin that for him,” said he.  “He’s already been through so much.”

Kim and Julio did get in contact with each other, and agreed to set up a meeting.  The tension was running a bit high when they finally got together.  The vet was concerned that Ben wouldn’t remember him, and Ben’s new mom was worried that he’d abandon her.

At the meeting, Ben bounded out of Kim’s car and straight over to Julio.  He had his wife, daughter, and son with him, and Ben took to them almost immediately.  After seeing Ben with Julio and his kids for just a few short minutes, Kim knew that he was their dog – no question about it.


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After Julio and Kim talked for a bit, she knew who Ben would be going home with that day.  Julio told her a story about his time with Ben in Afghanistan that he hasn’t really told anyone about.

“I don’t like to talk too much about what happened overseas,” Julio said.  “But we made contact with some bad guys, and I had to tie Ben back for his own safety.  I went back to the hole to start shooting, and Ben chewed through his leash and laid right down next to me.”

They continued talking for about an hour, but Kim had already made her decision.  She said, “Julio, why don’t you take the dog home?”

“He’s happy with you,” Julio said, trying to fight back the tears.  “I don’t want to take that away from him.”

“I didn’t go to war with him,” Kim contested.  “It’s different.”

“That’s all right,” Julio said.  “We have some good memories.  He’s a fighter.  He never gives up.”

She seemed to think about things for a few moments, then said, “I think he needs to take Ben home,” and walked to her car to gather Ben’s things.

“Julio,” said his wife, “you want to take the dog home?”

“He’s done so much, been through so many things.  I don’t want to take him home,” he said.

But then he looked over at Ben, who looked back at him adoringly.

“Come on,” Julio told him.  “I’ll take you home.”


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120 thoughts on “Civilian Mom Gives Adopted Dog to the Handler Military Promised Him To

  1. You made a good decision, Soldier, to take your buddy home. And be assured…. He has love all around with his “other mother”. Have an amazing life together…..

  2. Thank God for good hearted citizens since the government only cares about money. So happy this one worked out and that the lady was amazing enough to give him up

  3. God Bless the “RESCUERS” like this Lady….she has a truly open and loving Heart to make such a jesture. Thank you for caring!

  4. This woman has more integrity than the US military brass put together. I hope other handlers are reunited with their partners very soon x

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  6. This is the best moving real happy ending reality story I have ever read. Thank you for your service and Kim Scarborough will find the best family dog. Goodness pays back!

  7. What a wonderful person to do the right thing. What would be the harm in having given the dog to the original owner instead of being sold.

  8. the stories about the Military & the way they “discard” these dogs after they are no longer of use to them is very disturbing, to put it mildly …. Thank God, this women did the right thing, out of a sense of decency

  9. God bless this woman… is SICKENING that our soldiers are being lied to about being able to adopt/purchase their K9s. I am ashamed that this under-handedness is the process in our United States.

  10. Bless you for giving him to the soldier who he went through so much with….we need to be sure to save these dogs…and return them to the soldiers if that is what they want….

  11. Such a difficult thing to do… to give up the dog I’m sure you loved. My hat is off to you Ms. Scarborough! I pray that others in your same situation realize the great injustice that has been done to these brave young men and women and take your lead to make that injustice right. <3

  12. Kate Behnen omg this made me cryyyyyyy . What a great woman to do the right thing and reunite them. That had to be hard on everyone. It’s so easy to get attached.
    How awful that these soldiers don’t get their family back- they’ve been through so much together. Ugh!!

  13. Blessings to you for fulfilling a promise and a desire for a dog who means so much to a man who has shared so much with his dog and who obviously has such a deep bond. On the other hand, shame on the military who, for greed, broke a promise to one of their own. Where is the integrity? Why would anyone in the military believe anything they were told. Disgraceful!

  14. She is an amazing woman. All service dogs and there handlers should be reunited. Shame on the behavior of who ever is in charge to lie to the men and women who served

  15. It is disgraceful that our own government is treating our soldiers like this. The dogs are soldiers too and deserve as much respect as their human counterparts!

  16. Service dogs are not freaking commodities! They’ve served by the side of our soldiers and deserve to be treated just like human soldiers.

  17. Tremendous…how considerate and thoughtful to give the dog to his wartime comrade….very magnanimous and selfless. Bravo! Hope doggie and his dad have many wonderful moments together.

  18. These are not government owned military working dogs. These are civilian company owned dogs contracted out tp the military. That’s the difference

  19. You did the right thing. That dog needs him as much as he needs the dog. Heart breaking they take this life long bond away from the handlers and dogs. Thank you for giving him to his master, you have a good heart.

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