This week, American Humane facilitated the reunion of retired Military Working Dog Akim and Senior Airman Jenna, Akim’s former handler and best friend. After nearly a year apart, Akim finally ran into SrA Jenna’s loving arms on the morning of July 12 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Uniquely qualified in detection and patrol, Akim was paired with SrA Jenna in 2020. The two served together in South Korea, patrolling the air base, searching vehicles at the gates, and training with the Republic of Korea Air Force Special Forces. In November 2021, they were forced to part ways.
While serving together, Akim had a near-death experience after accidentally swallowing a bee and suffering from an extreme allergic reaction. SrA Jenna leaped into action as Akim went into anaphylactic shock, picking up the 70-pound dog and running him to the veterinarian at the base. Thanks to her quick action, Akim survived. SrA Jenna spent the next two days by his side and even slept with him in his kennel to keep him company. From that day forward, SrA Jenna always had an EpiPen on hand.
Tragically, Akim lost his eyesight when he was resuscitated and in recovery. He eventually regained some of his vision and was able to perform his duties on base again, but it never returned fully. This unfortunate incident formed a lifelong, unbreakable bond between Akim and SrA Jenna, and the pair have been inseparable ever since. SrA Jenna knew she wanted to be the one who gave him a forever loving home when he finished his years of service.
We at American Humane recognize the lifesaving contributions of all veterans, including the four-legged military dogs who risk their lives to courageously serve our country. We were honored to work with SrA Jenna and the U.S. Military to transport Akim more than 6,000 miles from South Korea to New Mexico, where his best friend was patiently waiting. Along the way, we even stopped to let Akim take in new sights! He particularly loved watching the sunset at Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona.
MWD Akim is home at last, and SrA Jenna plans to reward Akim in his retirement by doing all the things he may have missed out on while working – traveling, swimming, fishing and having fun! We are thrilled Akim will get the retirement he deserves, alongside the person who loves him most. We will also provide for Akim’s lifetime of veterinary care, to make him as healthy and comfortable as possible during retirement.
Your generous support allows us to reunite military heroes like Akim with their former handlers and give them the retirements they truly deserve. Make a gift today in honor of retired MWD Akim: https://www.americanhumane.org/bring-home-mwd-akim/.