War zone puppy will come to Kansas

It looks like Bella the war puppy will be coming home to Kansas.

Amanda May, a Valley Center woman who was raising money to transport the puppy from her husband's base in Afghanistan, reported Monday that she reached her fundraising goal.

After a story about the dog's plight was published in Sunday's Eagle, Warren Theatres owner Bill Warren told May he would donate $2,500 to the cause.

"My company has always been a big supporter of animals," Warren said. "That was part of it, and part of it was the troops.

"Without any question I just thought, 'You know, this is the right thing to do.' "

More contributions streamed in Sunday and Monday as well. May plans to donate additional money to Tigger House, a volunteer animal rescue group in Kabul.

"Everybody in the community has just been so kind and so generous," May said. "It's truly amazing."

Bella, a mixed-breed puppy, wandered onto Sgt. Lucas May's camp in Mehtar Lam, Afghanistan, about a month ago.

May, a medic with the Kansas Army National Guard, got permission from military officials to rescue the dog. But because Army regulations don't allow dogs to travel with troops, it will cost about $2,500 — possibly more — to fly Bella to Wichita.

Lucas May is scheduled to return home in March. He hopes Bella will be able to fly back around the same time, and live with the Mays in Valley Center.

She is at least the second Afghani dog to be rescued by a Kansas soldier. Last year Dan and Peggy Corman of Derby raised about $4,000 to transport ETTy, a black-and-white dog adopted by their son, Marine 1st Lt. Chris Corman, while he was in Mehtar Lam.

ETTy — short for Embedded Training Team puppy — flew to Wichita in September and now lives with Chris Corman in Virginia, where he is stationed.

"We were so thrilled to hear about Bella," Peggy Corman said. "You hear about what goes on with the dogs over there, and it's just awful."

Amanda May said she spoke with her husband by phone late Sunday and told him the latest developments.

"He was so happy, so excited," she said. "He said everyone couldn't believe that it all happened in one day.

"Now I just wish March would get here, so they both can come home."

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