Army Specialist Ken Wyrsch was stationed with a Kurdish military outfit in Iraq when he found and adopted a puppy named Ollie, who became the camp’s loving mascot. “He was there when we left on our missions, he was there when we got back,” Wyrsch said about his loyal companion. About a month ago, however, Wyrsch and the rest of the soldiers found out the camp was shutting down, and he was being sent home, and while he was thrilled to see his loved ones back home, he realized that meant leaving behind Ollie.
While many may perceive this as good news, it came as a shock for Wyrsch. While in Iraq, he had developed long-lasting relationships and bonds, and returning home meant he would be forced to leave one of them behind.“You don’t leave a friend behind, can’t do it,” Wyrsch said knowing Ollie probably wouldn’t survive in a country that treats animals so poorly. “Some Iraqi would use it for target practice or something,” he said.
Leaving Ollie behind broke his heart, and when he returned home to the United States, Wyrsch knew what he had to do. Rather than try and move on with his life, he contacted SPCA International, hoping they could help him raise the necessary funds to adopt Ollie and bring him back to California. One month after returning home, Wyrsch’s dream came true.With the help of SPCA International and thousands of dollars in donations, Wyrsch organized for Ollie to be sent to the United States to live with him, and he is finally back where he belongs.
“This right here was thousands and thousands of dollars of donations that went into this dog, you know? He’s a good boy. He’s worth it,” Wyrsch said.