In the end, after five long years, this soldier succeeded in bringing home his military dog.
After the dog saved Ryan Henderson’s life while serving overseas, he knew he had to adopt it. Despite the Law of First Refusal, returning a service dog to its original owner can be challenging if the military has already given the dog to another family.
To sniff out tactical explosives, the military employed a dog named Satan. In the military, he served alongside Ryan and twice averted disaster for him. After Ryan had a seizure and was taken to Germany for treatment, the two were separated.
Upon his full recovery, Ryan retired and initiated the adoption of Satan. The difficulty, however, was that the Army had already given Satan away along with over a thousand other canines. Contrary to the Right of First Refusal rule, none of the dog handlers were ever given the option to adopt the dogs with which they had formed such strong bonds.
Still determined, Ryan located the Richardsons, the adoptive parents of Satan. The Richardsons, however, had become fond of Satan by then and were unwilling to give him up. The family had formed a deep emotional connection with the dog, and he was now considered a member of the household.
Ryan started looking into legal alternatives for regaining possession of Satan after discovering that the Army had not followed proper procedure in placing the dog with Richardson’s. A lawyer by the name of Marilyn Forbes agreed to meet with him and start assisting him. As a result of the Richardsons’ breach of her rights, she decided to sue them.
At first, the Richardson family was adamant about wanting to retain Satan, but after Ryan gave a public interview, they changed their minds. Mr. Richardson gave Ryan a call to inform him that he was giving Satan back to Ryan.
Ryan and his dad drove all night to get Satan and start the long trip back home. After a bizarre car ride in which Satan made frequent appearances, they arrived safely at their destination and resumed their friendship as if nothing had changed.
Ryan is relieved and happy to have his puppy back thanks to the Richardsons’ change of heart. Ryan brought Satan home, but he’s still on a mission to assist other service members in their struggle to reunite with their own pets.
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