Soldier returns from Afghanistan, learns dog was given away
Brandon Harker had entrusted his yellow Labrador to a friend while he was deployed to Afghanistan, but the 'friend' sold the dog on Craigslist.
Mon, Jul 29 2013 at 12:00 PM
Photo: Brandon Harker
When 1st Lt. Brandon Harker returned from Afghanistan, he couldn’t wait to hug his dog, Oakley. He’d entrusted Oakley to a friend during his nine-month deployment.
Harker adopted the purebred yellow Labrador over Memorial Day weekend in 2011 while he was at Georgia’s Fort Benning, and he describes Oakley as "a very big baby” who loves to snuggle. The two were inseparable when Harker was in the U.S, but whenever he was deployed, he’d leave his dog with “a good friend.”
But when he got home to Washington state, he discovered that his friend had grown tired of the purebred yellow Labrador and given him away or sold him.
Harker called local animal shelters and veterinarians to try to track down Oakley, who’s micro-chipped and registered. He then turned to social media to try to find his dog and soon learned that the dog had been listed for sale on Craigslist some time between February and June.
Although selling pets on Craigslist violates the website’s terms of service, it often happens anyway.
In an attempt to find Oakley, Harker posted a Craigslist ad of his own asking for any information that can help him get his pet back.
“He is good with kids and other dogs,” the ad reads. “He has a unique coat, on his face he has spots of a darker yellow (champagne) he also has spots of the same color going down his sides and legs. If anyone has any information on this and can help me, please do.”
"I'd just like to get him back, safe and sound," Harker told CNN. "That's about it."
Harker asks that people help spread the word about Oakley. If you have any information about the dog, contact Harker via Craigslist.
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