KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) A Fort Hood soldier deployed overseas is fighting for his dog who may go up for adoption after being turned in to a shelter as a stray this week.
(Photo by Sam DeLeon)
Private First Class Elijah Chrismas says he wants his dog “Noonie” to be there waiting for him when he returns home from Korea in February.
“I definitely still want him,” Chrismas said in messages he sent to KWTX from Korea on Friday. “That’s my best friend.”
The soldier adopted Noonie from the Killeen Animal Shelter in late April/early May.
On Thursday, Bullmastiff was turned back in to the same shelter by the friend of a woman who found him on Westcliff Road in Killeen.
Chrismas said he was very upset when he learned about the situation 6,800 miles away.
“I had no idea what was going on at first because I didn’t think somebody I trusted would just let my dog go like a rodent or something,” he said.
The soldier said he left Noonie with his girlfriend at the time, but she left him shortly after he deployed in June.
Once that happened, Chrismas said he asked her to give Noonie to someone to watch him at least until he got home, and the next thing he knew, he heard people had found his dog and were trying to get him out of the shelter for him before he went up for adoption.
“He’s like the sweetest dog I’ve ever been around and loves everyone,” said Chrismas. “And for someone to just let him go like that is wild.”
“I’m just really thankful there’s good people out there still that wanted to help.”
A local animal group with a mission to reunite lost pets with their owners, Central Texas Lost & Found Pets, heard about Noonie on Facebook, and has stepped-in to try and help find a foster family for him while his owner is deployed.
The city shelter has a policy where if the owner doesn’t come to claim an animal in four days, it goes up for adoption.
“If I was deployed oversees and this happened to me, I would be devastated, coming home and my dog is not home and he has been adopted out,” said Sylvia Hall, a moderator with Central Texas Lost & Found Pets.
Hall said they’re doing everything they can to avoid that situation from happening, but need people to step-up and help the soldier by fostering Noonie before he’s eligible to go up for adoption on Monday.
“It sucks knowing you can’t trust people these days, but I’m so glad there’s good people out there that were willing to help,” said Chrismas.
There is no fee to foster a dog in Killeen but a form is required to be filled out for approval.
For information on how to apply to be a foster family for Noonie, call the Killeen Animal Shelter at (254) 526-4455, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.killeenpetadoption.org.