Devastated Soldier Comes Home to Find His Dog Was Given Away While He Was at War

With friends like these, who needs enemies?!! Army First Lieutenant Brandon Harker returned from deployment in Afghanistan eager to reunite with his golden labrador, Oakley, whom he's raised since he was a puppy. We've all seen those dog reunion videos on YouTube, so no doubt Harker was looking forward to one tail-wagging, happy pooch. Only when he went to his friend's house to pick up his dog -- Oakley was gone! Says Harker:

My friend who was supposed to be watching him just told me, "I got rid of him" ... They never gave me any other explanation. He would say, "I don’t know who we gave him to" and "I don’t know their phone number." I just want him back.

WHAT?! That is just despicable. Now Harker is on a desperate search to be reunited with his faithful friend.

Heartbroken Harker started by placing an ad on Seattle Craigslist. It went:

I just recently returned from a 9 month deployment. And upon arrival back into the area I found out my yellow labrador retriever was either given away or sold while I was gone ... I am just trying to get him back to me since he was wrongfully given away or sold with out my permission while I was deployed. I will also be able to verify the dog is mine because he is micro-chipped and registered to me.

Awful. AWFUL. Who is the so-called friend who would do this to another friend? It's not like Harker took off on some freewheeling cross-country road trip and irresponsibly left his dog behind. He was serving the country. No doubt the friend knew that.

If he felt afterward that he wasn't up for taking care of the dog, then fine. Contact your friend, who presumably can Skype or email. Ask if there are other options. Contact the friend's friends or family. Contact a shelter! Surely someone would have come forward to foster a soldier's dog.

But this asswipe gave the dog away or sold it and doesn't even remember to whom?!! Harker must be beside himself with worry. He trusted his friend to take care of his dog buddy, and his friend turned out to be a douche.

Let's all help him get his precious pooch back!

Have you ever had anyone get rid of your pet?


Images via Craigslist

cute animals, military


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Erinly Erinly

Oh my gosh! I was just away for the weekend and had a house sitter who did a piss poor job of watching my dog- didn't let her out, didn't stay the night with her, left the house at 85 degrees, etc. I can't imagine how awful this must feel for this poor guy. I hope he finds his pup!!

nonmember avatar Kristi

Some friend!

nonmember avatar Klax

The dog is probably dead. The friend didn't know how to tell him.

redK8... redK8blueSt8

Dollars to donuts this "friend" is lying to the soldiers face, and probably killed the dog either on purpose or accidental. Seriously, who does that?!

micke... mickeyc38

I think the same that someone else said.  The dog proably died and he didn't want to tell him that so he told him he gave the dog away..but then again why lose a friend of something like that?

Lisa Nesbit Reuss

I was just going to post that I think the dog died, and I see others said the same thing. It's cruel to say the dog was given away if it wasn't, but the friend's story is full of holes. Something happened to that dog, and Mr. Harker may never find out what. Sad story.

Samantha Jean

that's not a friend if he gave or sold the dog or cant tell him the dog died. the friend stole the dog so press charges of him stealing the dog.

nonmember avatar Robin

I actually had almost the same thing happen. While I was at boot camp my mom decided she didn't want to take care of my beautiful white husky I had for years. She took my poor girl out into the country and dumped her somewhere. I didn't find out until after I got home what she had done and I never did find my girl :( I really hope this soldiers dog is ok and is returned to him safely

Kathleen Fair Mercer

If you know of a military person that needs help caring for a pet while gone please contact They are fabulous with getting help for fostering, transporting, etc....

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