Marine Couldn’t Fly Dogs to His Next Base, so a Super-Rich Stranger Offers Up Her Jet

March 4, 2019 Updated: May 3, 2019

A marine was preparing his move to a new military base when he learned that his two dogs might have to be left behind as they were deemed too big to fly on the plane. Fortunately, an heiress learned of their situation and sent a private jet over to help them.

Andrew Morales, a Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps, rescued two dogs from Afghanistan in 2011 when he was on deployment and brought them to California.

Illustration – Shutterstock | Yeongsik Im

Everything was going well until two years later, in 2013, when he was informed that he would be transferring from his base in Southern California to Camp Lejeune.

Morales was preparing for the move when he learned that his dogs named Dusty and Wyatt were too large to travel on commercial flights.

A good Samaritan with deep pockets chartered a private jet to fly a Marine's dogs across the country to the soldier's…

Posted by WTTE FOX 28 on Tuesday, October 22, 2013

“We couldn’t really get them on the aircraft because this airport doesn’t take large airplanes,” Morales told WWAY.

Morales called the rescue league that had helped bring his dogs to California for help, and they shared his situation on Facebook.

Since helping a Marine move his family, including his rescued dogs, across country, I have received many wonderful…

Posted by Helen Rich on Friday, November 1, 2013

Helen Rosburg, the heiress of Wrigley Gum, saw the appeal and leapt into action—sending a private jet over to charter Morales, his family, and their two dogs to the new base.

“He was going to lose his dogs and I said ‘Not on my watch,’” Rosburg told ABC News.

“He’s a hero on so many different levels. The Wrigleys are an extremely patriotic family and I am a true Wrigley child.”

Flying to Kentucky. With friends! 😬.

Posted by Helen Rich on Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Needless to say, Morales and his family were grateful to Rosburg for her help.

“From the bottom of me and my wife’s hearts we really appreciate what she did for us,” Morales said, adding that they hope to meet Rosburg one day to thank her personally.

“We’ve just got to find a way to get together,” said Rosburg, who welcomes the idea of meeting up.

What a lovely act of kindness from Rosburg to help the Morales in the nick of time so that their beloved pets won’t be left behind!

Dog Reunites with ex-Marine Owner

Another Marine, Shaun Duling, shared a similar experience. However, instead of receiving a rich heiress’s help, Duling found aid given by the animal rescue organization Nowzad.

When Duling was about to leave Afghanistan in October 2012 after a year-long contract, he found himself heartbroken for having to leave Bolt, a dog he rescued on his first day as an overseas contractor.

“I got over to Afghanistan to my site last October. My team lead picked me up from the helipad… We were driving back to the tent and I noticed there were two dogs, one running to the left and one running to the right,” Duling described his first encounter with Bolt to ABC News.

The two dogs Duling saw were brother and sister. While the sister, Xena, was well cared for, the brother, Bolt, was a different story.

“No one really gave him food. He was very malnourished, very skinny but still a very happy dog,” Duling continued.

Duling and another friend of his decided to start taking care of the poor animal. They fed the dog and ordered dog food for Bolt.

“After that, Bolt just stuck with me. I would go out on my morning runs and he’d be right there running with me,” said Duling. “He’s very obedient, very smart. I taught him to sit, lay down and shake in less than a week.”

Illustration – Getty Images | JOSE CABEZAS 

However, one day, Duling’s commander gave the order to remove all the dogs from the base. Bolt, having grown attached to his new owner, refused to leave.

“They dropped him off at this village and all the other dogs ran away and scattered, but Bolt stayed by the vehicle. They noticed Bolt was running behind them the entire way home for about 10 miles as they were leaving.”

Possibly moved by Bolt’s loyalty, Duling’s commander allowed the dog back on the base. Unfortunately, when Duling left Afghanistan, Bolt couldn’t follow his owner the second time.

“He tried to jump on the helo [helicopter] with me,” Duling told ABC News. “I got on, and they had to come pull him back. It was pretty hard saying goodbye to him. And that’s when I definitely made the decision to do what I had to.”

Through Nowzad, an organization that aims to provide rescue and rehabilitation for animals in Afghanistan, Duling found a way to bring Bolt to the Unied States. However, in order for it to happen, Duling needed $4,000 for a 14-hour trip to bring Bolt from another side of the world.

“They set up the fundraising page, and they told me to put it on Facebook and spread the word via Facebook. And before I knew it I was getting 50 friend requests a day. People all over the world were donating money,” Duling said.

With the help of Nowzad and the donations of many kindhearted people, Bolt was able to make his trip home.

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