Feb. 21, 2019 – Military working dog (MWD) Rrobiek, who bravely served as a patrol explosive detector dog protecting our troops in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria and is retiring from service, was reunited yesterday in Kissimmee with his former handler, U.S. Army Staff Sgt Charles Ogin, IV. Rrobiek, a 9-year-old Belgian Malinois, is now with his forever family at their house in St. Cloud, Florida.
“When I had to say goodbye to him, I thought I was going to be okay just saying goodbye and leaving him to another handler, but I broke down the second I hugged him around his neck,” Staff Sgt Ogin said of Rrobiek. “After four years you grow together and essentially become family, so I am looking forward to bringing him home and spoiling him as much as I can.” Staff Sgt Ogin last saw Rrobiek in December 2017.
American Humane, the country’s first national humane organization, has been working to support the U.S. military, veterans, and military animals for more than 100 years. One of its many efforts is working to bring retired military dogs back to the United States and reconnect them with the people who care most about them – their former handlers.
American Humane sent one of its top veterinarians to pick up and escort MWD Rrobiek to Kissimmee. Support was provided by American Humane’s Lois Pope LIFE Center for Military Affairs, along with Hallmark Channel and MerriView Hill – Call to Duty.
“American Humane is proud to support our nation’s veterans, including military K-9s who play a critical role in protecting our troops,” said Robin Ganzert, PhD, American Humane president and CEO. “We were thrilled to help reunite K-9 Rrobiek and Staff Sgt Ogin and wish them the very best.”
“Veterans and their military working dogs often develop unbreakable bonds and pairing them back together helps provide much-needed healing,” said American Humane Veterinarian Dr. Lesa Staubus. “Escorting K-9 Rrobiek on his journey back into the arms of Staff Sgt Ogin was an incredible honor I’ll never forget.”
Retired MWDs often have lots of medical issues stemming from their physical jobs. American Humane works on reunifications and helps provide free specialty and preventative medical care to make retired MWDs as healthy and comfortable as possible during retirement. Many dogs also suffer from post-traumatic stress.