Marine Successful in Fight to Adopt Military Dog

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A woman who served in Iraq for more than three years is now fighting bureaucratic red tape to save the German Shepherd she survived a roadside bomb blast with.

leavey and
Megan Leavey and Rex

Update (3/19/12) Rex and Megan Leavey will soon be reunited.

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer said the Air Force has indicated that it will release Sgt. Rex in the near future, when he’ll finally have a chance to resume his life with former Cpl. Megan Leavey.

Schumer had originally taken an interest in the case when the Purple Heart recipient began her quest to adopt Sgt. Rex in 2007, and his recent pressure by means of a public petition drive seems to have finally put an end to a conflict that never should have existed.

“We salute the Air Force and the Marines for doing the right thing and allowing Rex to be with Corporal Leavey,” Schumer said last evening. “One canine, one human, both heroes. They should be united shortly, and we’re glad it’s happening.”

–end update–

Retired military dog handler Megan Leavey, 28, and her military dog Rex both spent a year in rehabilitation after they were nearly killed by a roadside bomb in Ramadi in 2006. After serving on more than 100 missions together, the pair formed a tremendous bond. Now Leavey wants to bring him home.

“He’s done his duty. It’s time for him to relax,” Leavey says.

Leavey has been trying to adopt Rex since being discharged from the military in December 2007. More than fours years later, he still waits for her in a kennel at Camp Pendleton. He was recently diagnosed with facial palsy and can no longer serve, and Leavey wants to adopt him before he is euthanized.

“This is not (the Marines) first priority. A lot of times it gets lost in the shuffle,” Leavey said in an interview with MyFox New York.

She says time is running out for the faithful dog. Fortunately, she has found political help that may finally turn the tables in a long, drawn out effort to save her former partner. Sen. Charles Schumer has stepped in and taken an interest in the case. He has requested that the military expedite Leavey’s application to adopt Sergeant Rex before he is put to sleep.

“The Marines don’t have a reason against reuniting them, it’s just a slow bureaucracy,” Shumer says.

Meanwhile, Rex waits. And Megan Leavey worries. “It’s life or death,” she says.