Arty was once among the numerous stray dogs left to waste away on the streets of Afghanistan. Now he has a home, family — and a whole green yard all to himself.
Arty earned so many fans because of his friendliness. In Afghanistan, the former stray was a regular visitor to a U.S. Army camp in the country. The skinny canine quickly became a favorite among the soldiers, providing them with comfort, cuddles and protection. All he asked for in return was a little bit of food and lots of pats.
So when the team looking after Arty was preparing to leave Afghanistan, they started to worry about what would happen to Arty once they were gone. A warrant officer on the base named Eric decided to find a way to take the dog with them, arranging for Arty to go to a group in Kabul called Nowzad.
Nowzad works to send stray cats and dogs from war zones to the U.S, so they can start new lives. Unfortunately, making these furry dreams come true is time-consuming, expensive and dangerous.
This didn’t deter Eric or his family. Eric’s sister Teresa Ridenhour set up a GoFundMe to help Arty’s Army buddies raise the money needed to get the loyal pup to America.
Shortly after reaching the halfway mark of the $4,500 goal, Dog Chow got wind of the fundraiser. Dog Chow, which has worked to support the military since 1926, donated the remaining $2,000 needed.
Because of this final push, Arty was able to safely arrive in the U.S. on Sept. 13. He is now living with Ridenhour in Austin, Texas, where he is enjoying getting to roll in grass for the very first time. Along with taking in the great outdoors, Arty is also being spoiled with affection, treats and toys. The only missing piece is Eric, who has not yet returned home from his deployment. Arty is eagerly awaiting his reunion with the person who made this new life possible.
Along with donating $2,000 to Arty’s GoFundMe, Dog Chow also gave Arty free dog food for one year. Arty isn’t the only dog the company is dedicated to helping; through the Service Dog Salute campaign, Dog Chow is working with Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation to match rescue canines turned service dogs with their ideal veteran owners.