In 2019, Kristen St. Pierre, a female platoon commander for the Georgia Army National Guard, was in Afghanistan and formed a close bond with her bomb-sniffing dog, Chase. The two of them worked together every day on "guardian angel" missions, and Chase would lead the route and conduct security sweeps of the perimeter before meetings. When St. Pierre's tour ended, Chase stayed behind to work, but she missed him terribly and kept in touch with his new handler.
Then in August 2021, when the Taliban took over Afghanistan, St. Pierre was concerned about Chase's safety. She heard that he and other dogs would be on flights to the U.S. and Europe, but then she learned that the dogs weren't allowed on the planes and were released from the airport with little chance of survival. For months, St. Pierre was in the dark about Chase's fate, fearing the worst.
Luckily, Charlotte Maxwell-Jones, the founder of Kabul Small Animal Rescue, found Chase at a kennel owned by a local mine detection company north of Kabul in late November 2022. He was in sorry shape, but Maxwell-Jones was able to nurse him back to health. St. Pierre saw a photo of Chase on KSAR's social media accounts and contacted the organization to inquire about the process of bringing him to the U.S. and possibly adopting him. Together, they set up a fundraiser for $3,500 to bring him home.
Maxwell-Jones has been working on securing permissions for Chase to leave Afghanistan, but paperwork and bureaucracy have held up his departure. When Chase can leave the country and be reunited with St. Pierre is still unknown.
Kristen St. Pierre and Chase's story is a testament to the bond that can form between military dogs and their handlers. Despite the challenges and hardships they faced, their connection has endured, and the love and care they have for each other have never waned.