Home / Newsroom / American Humane Reunites Retired Military Working Dog with Handler in Pastoral North Carolina

American Humane Reunites Retired Military Working Dog with Handler in Pastoral North Carolina

CLINTON, NORTH CAROLINA, July 28, 2021 — American Humane, the country’s first national humane organization, reunited Military Working Dog Chickel, a 9-year-old German Shepherd, with Staff Sergeant Kyle Johnson, an active duty dog handler with the U.S. Air Force stationed at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro, North Carolina.

SSgt Johnson and his young daughter welcome Chickel to the family.

“American Humane is dedicated to ensuring a healthy, happy retirement for MWDs on American soil,” said Dr. Robin R. Ganzert, president & CEO of American Humane. “We are honored to reunite SSgt Kyle Johnson with Chickel, and hope this courageous canine enjoys a restful retirement.”

SSgt Johnson’s family, including his wife and two young children, welcomed Chickel home with open arms. For three years, Kyle has worked as a dog handler in the air force and plans to continue working alongside canines for as long as he can.

“He’s more than a military dog to me, he’s family,” said SSgt Johnson. “I’m just happy to have him home – happy to show him what a regular dog’s life is like.”

American Humane veterinarian Dr. Lesa Staubus travelled to North Carolina to ensure MWD Chickel’s health and safety during his long journey home from Korea. American Humane has worked alongside the U.S. Armed Forces for more than a century. American Humane stands first to serve to reunite Battle Buddies who have so bravely served our country, and who are real heroes on both ends of the leash.

Chickel served with Kyle at Osan Base in Korea, where he worked as a patrol dog. Chickel was known on base to be a goofy, but loving dog. Other handlers and airmen reported that Chickel comforted them when they were going through difficult times.

“American Humane is incredibly proud of our work supporting the nation’s veterans, including four-legged military K-9s who play a crucial role in keeping their fellow troops safe,” said Dr. Ganzert.

Retired MWDs often have medical issues stemming from their physical jobs. American Humane recently launched a Military Working Dog Reunification fund which will make it possible to bring even more of our K-9 veterans home thanks to the generous help of donors and supporters. Proceeds from this fund will also help provide free specialty and preventative medical care to make retired MWDs as healthy and comfortable as possible during retirement.

About American Humane
American Humane is the country’s first national humane organization, founded in 1877. For more information, please visit

America's two and four legged veterans served us - now let's serve them.