Hero Dog Survived Afghan War But Not US Government

Fri, 19 Nov 2010 12:13:01 +0000


“Target” was a homeless dog who eeked out a living on the war-ravaged streets of Afghanistan. The female German Shepherd mix and two other mutts, Rufus and Sasha, befriended the soldiers on a U.S. military base who began to feed the strays. The soldiers named the German Shepherd “Target” because she was plucky and cheated death so often, surviving IED explosions and the Taliban.

As the Daily Mail recounts, one night in February a Taliban suicide bomber came to the base in the middle of the night, wearing 25 pounds of explosives and intent on killing Americans. The three dogs barked at and bit the bomber, waking the 50 sleeping soldiers in the process. Frightened by the dogs, the terrorist blew himself up instead of the soldiers. Only five soldiers were injured in the bombing and all recovered. Sasha was killed; Target and Rufus were injured and were treated by medics like wounded soldiers. From then on, the dogs were treated like royalty at the US base at Dand Patan, near the Pakistan border.

When Sgt Terry Young returned home from his tour of duty to the San Tan Valley area near Phoenix this August, with the help of aid groups he brought Target with him. Rufus went to live with another soldier in Georgia. Target became famous when she was featured on ‘Oprah’ in September in a show about amazing animals.

Target with Sgt Young and Oprah

On Friday of last week Target escaped from the family’s backyard. Sgt Young put out notices and contacted TV stations that did reports on the missing dog, with the information that she wore a special pink camouflage collar. A neighbour found her wandering later that day and put her in his backyard and called the Pinal County shelter. 

But Target did not have a microchip or tag.

On Friday night, Sgt Young found Target’s picture on a website used by Pinal County’s dog catchers to help owners track lost pets. But the shelter in Casa Grande closes for the night and the weekend, with its hours listed on the website as M-F 8-5pm. 

On Monday, Sgt. Young showed up at the shelter to claim Target, only to find his dog dead. A shelter employee had “mistakenly” taken Target out of her pen Monday morning and euthanized her.

Ruth Stalter, director of the Animal Care and Control Center admitted that “When it comes to euthanizing an animal, there are some clear-cut procedures to follow. Based on my preliminary investigation, our employee did not follow those procedures.” 

A teary Sgt Young told a local TV station: “‘I just can’t believe that something like this would happen to such a good dog. My four year-old son just can’t understand what is going on with Target and keeps asking me to get the poison out of her and bring her home. They don’t want her to go be with God yet.”

Writing in the American Thinker on November 18, 2010, Jeannie DeAngelis sums up the moral of Target’s sad story:

You know the old adage – “Don’t get sick on the weekend…there’s nobody on staff,” especially if the hospital workers are on the government payroll.

Pinal County’s Animal Care and Control is a Division of the Health and Human Services Department, a county agency that “protects the health and welfare of Pinal County citizens.” In other words, the animal shelter is government-run on the county level. Based on ordinances, the division enforces regulations and provisions, “humanely” cares for animals, and provides “proactive and ongoing public education and information to the residents.” Above all, the organization prides itself on always adhering to “professional standards in all aspects of public relations and animal management.”  

Target the Heroine Dog’s Post-mortem message to America: Once Obamacare kicks in, be wary of smiling bureaucrats touting professional standards in all aspects of health care management, because the government fix may include an inept health care worker sending any one of us on a premature one-way trip, even though it isn’t our time “to go be with God yet.”


H/t Sol and beloved fellow FS.


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