After a high-profile adoption campaign and months of worry, a military dog handler finally managed to save the dog that served with her in Iraq from death-row, The Blaze reports.
Former Marine Cpl. Megan Leavey, 28, and her beloved German shepherd -- a military service dog named Sgt. Rex -- completed over 100 missions together during two six-month tours in Iraq, the Daily Mail reports.
"We have been through so much together. I’ve spent day and night with this dog," Leavey, who once survived a roadside bomb with Rex by her side, told MSNBC.
Since being discharged in 2007, Leavey, who lives in Rockport, NY., has been campaigning to adopt Sgt. Rex as her own.
"Rex is my partner. I love him," she said.
But it's been a long and difficult process for Leavey and her canine companion. As a safety precaution, explained Leavey, not all military dogs are given away for adoption.
"The dilemma with me is the minute they say he can't be adopted, because he's sick and because he can't work, they'd have to put him to sleep," she said.
She knew she couldn't let that happen.
With the help of veterans’ groups and New York Senator Charles Schumer, Leavey launched a public campaign to save Rex.
Thousands rallied behind the former Marine. An online petition set up by Senator Schumer alone received 21,000 signatures.
Finally, after a long, hard battle, the Marine Corps announced Monday that Rex has been approved for adoption and will soon be reunited with Leavey.
"We salute the Air Force and the Marines for doing the right thing and allowing Rex to be with Corporal Leavey," Senator Schumer’s office said in a statement, following the decision. "One canine, one human, both heroes."