Soldier's dog adopted to someone else while away at training

Published: Oct. 4, 2016 at 9:27 PM MDT
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A Fort Carson soldier is looking to get his dog back after it was given away while he was on a training trip. The kennel told him they just had to follow policy after the dog ran away and got turned in.

Ace is a 7-month-old German Shepard owned by Steve Munoz and his ex-girlfriend.

"He's just a really good, well-behaved dog," said Munoz, who's a Medic for 1A Infantry.

Munoz and the dog's other owner are in the same brigade, and left Ace with a friend while they spent a month at the National Training Center in Ft. Irwin, California.

While there, communication was extremely limited, so Munoz didn't hear that Ace escaped out of the dogsitter's yard back in Colorado.

"Some woman saw [Ace] on post, saw that he had a collar, and brought him in and reported it to the military police," said Munoz.

The Land of Ahs Kennel in Fountain is contracted with Fort Carson to take in found animals.

The dogsitter said she tried to get Ace back and explained the dog's owners were at training.

Since the dogsitter didn't have ownership documents and Munoz couldn't be reached, the kennel adopted the dog out after four to five days of holding it, per the policy they say Fort Carson has them follow.

Munoz returned about a week after Ace was adopted out.

"I had documentation and photos of him. They said, 'We know which dog you're talking about, but you missed your period,'" said Munoz. "The right thing I believe to do is to keep the dog there, and once we're able to return then charge us whatever boarding or whatever cost it takes to maintain the dog."

When 11 News went to the kennel, they said to direct any questions about policy to Fort Carson.

After 11 News got involved, Fort Carson told us now they're going to be taking another look at what happened and will be contacting Ace's new owner to see if this story can have a happy ending.

"I know he's a great dog, and you guys are probably in love with him as well; but I really, really would like to get my dog back. I will pay you guys any fees you paid for adoption or anything for maintaining him. I'd just really like to get my pup back," Munoz said.

Fort Carson said it's important that whenever soldiers leave, they should have a care plan in place for their pets, which includes leaving all the proper paperwork behind with someone you trust.

11 News will update this story as soon as we learn what Fort Carson decided to do with the situation.