Jun 25, 2015, 01:23 ET
LENOIR CITY, Tenn., June 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Sterling Global Operations (SGO) trains dogs to do vital jobs – most recently in Iraq and Afghanistan – to protect American troops and foreign local national civilians.
SGO, an international stability operations company, is now seeing that these dogs' post-work years are spent with families who will love and care for them.
"We've so far found homes for 18 dogs sent back to the U.S. from Afghanistan," said Paul Lane, SGO director of operations. "There are 22 in service at present that will be returned to the U.S. in the next two years."
He said the dogs, of varied breeds, after their training generally work about eight years. They learn to sniff out explosives, landmines, and conduct search and rescue tasks.
"They save lives," Lane said. "They can smell things humans can't smell, see things we can't see, and know of danger before we do. They're better at a number of things than we are. They actually reduce danger for everyone and have saved a great many lives in the line of duty. We love them."
To be considered for adoption, a potential owner must first fill out a required lengthy adoption application and then go through a stringent vetting process, to include a visit to the potential adopter's home.
"The homes we are looking for will be the best fit for the dogs based on their needs," Lane said.
Dea is one of the first of many dogs to be placed with a family. Dea's family adopted her in July 2014.
Dea was trained as a mine detection dog, but her playfulness limited her attention span. She instead became a mascot for SGO employees during her stay in Afghanistan.
Stephen, her new Dad, wrote to SGO to update the company on Dea's activities.
"She walks very well on a leash and is just a joy to have around," he said. "She loves all the people she comes in contact with…She interacts great with the grandchildren and kids in the neighborhood."
The owners of Spidi, a Belgian Malinois, whose job in Afghanistan was as an explosive detection dog, sent a message that touched everyone at SGO, Lane said.
"The dad wrote this to us: 'We lost our oldest son 28 August 2010 in Afghanistan and when Jeff reached out to me about Spidi and told me her story I just had to have her as part of our family. She has been a blessing to me and my family…Spidi is one of the family and doing very well, she fits right in, and loves to go for long walks along the river.'"
Said Lane, "This family's son made the ultimate sacrifice for his country, and now the family is caring for and loving a dog that served our country as well."
"These dogs are special to us, to their owners, and to our country," Lane added. "It's actually an honor to be involved in this program, from the time the dogs arrive here for training until they're placed happily in their new home."
Sterling Global Operations is an employee-owned stability operations company employing approximately 6,000 professionals worldwide. The company serves customers with munitions response; intelligence support; logistics; risk management and other services in some of the world's most austere and hostile environments. The company's website is www.sterlinggo.com.
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SOURCE Sterling Global Operations
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