Retired Military Dog Needs Home, Faces Euthanasia

Life With Dogs is reader-supported. We may earn a small commission through products purchased using links on this page.

*UPDATE: Rocky has been adopted!

Meet Rocky, a retired military dog who served three tours of duty in Iraq. Stationed at Camp Pendleton since joining the Marine Corps in 2004, Rocky worked in Iraq as a patrol and explosives detection dog, and returned to the US in 2007 when his handler was killed in action.

Rocky retired when he was disabled by a degenerative condition that worsened in March of this year, necessitating the use of a wheelchair for mobility. Camp Pendleton authorities say the base kennels and their staff are not properly equipped to deal with special needs dogs, and unless someone comes forward to adopt Rocky by next Wednesday he’ll be put down. Under normal circumstances, war dogs are adopted by their handlers: sadly, Rocky has none.

Rocky is said to be sweet and fairly independent. Because of his wheelchair Rocky requires assistance in order for him to take care of business, but he gets around very well and loves hanging out in the sun and relaxing. It would be ideal if Rocky could go to a home with no children or other animals: his conditions means that he’ll demand a little more time than the average dog.

Given his background and his years spent in service to our country, we’re disappointed in Camp Pendleton for putting a deadline on Rocky. Our veterans (2 and 4 legged) deserve our utmost respect, and the thought of Rocky surviving three tours of duty to lose his life to a vet’s needle is unacceptable. That said, his situation is dire: let’s turn our focus to finding him a safe forever home that will honor the retired warrior – it’s the least we can do to say thank you for serving.

Please share Rocky’s story, and provide the following information to potential adopters:

Known medical issues:

Bilateral coxofemoral DJD (mild)
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia/Enlarged prostate
Pressure/kennel sores
Mild hip dysplasia L coxofemoral joint, grade I
Bilateral neurologic defecits rear legs – degenerative myelopathy


Ready to open your heart and home to Rocky? Please contact Camp Pendleton:
Spc. Joseph Ramsey: (760) 725-5527; email: [email protected]

Spc. Jade Clarke: (760) 725-5527; email: [email protected]

16 thoughts on “Retired Military Dog Needs Home, Faces Euthanasia”

  1. Thank you for posting this link!! Although I’m heartened by Rocky’s adoption this brings up the larger question of… many freakin’ times has this happened?! While I’m a big supporter of our armed forces and the men and women (and dogs!!) that serve, the administration and rules are insane!! Who puts down a perfectly good dog that has, nonetheless SERVED OUR COUNTRY?! SHAMEFUL! SICKENING!!

  2. Thank god he has been adopted. What kind of person is running the shelter where he was that would even think to euthanize him or any other dog. UGH

  3. How wonderful that Rocky was adopted! Please be sure to put out the word if this situation arises again. I’m not able to adopt a dog at this time, but I know there are people out there who are able to open their homes to special needs dogs.

  4. My cousin passed away in Afghanistan, he and his dog were attached to a special forces unit. They passed away but saved a lot of lives. God bless and hope these war vets find a nice home. Dino Chris, always in our hearts and minds!!!


Leave a Comment