Hail the retired heroes!
To date, Hound Haven is home to eight former soldiers.
1. CHUCHI AND CHUCHU
Chuchi, 8 and Chuchu, 3, both Belgian Malinois dogs, served in the Philippine Army’s Marawi operations as explosive detection dogs. They were retired from service after they lost their drive to sniff out bombs.
Like many military veterarns, they suffered post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Many of these dogs also experience “human-like long-term reactions such as anxiety and panic attacks”, according to an article on veteran dogs and PTSD by Joe Wilkes for “Dog Whisperer” Cesar Millan’s website.
“During deployment in different K-9 detachments, our MWDS are subjected to different stresses,” claimed San Juan. “The MWDS could suffer from PTSD, as in one case in Marawi City, because of the loud bombing and war setting.”
Arcebal said Chuchu adjusted surprisingly well in the sanctuary, but Chuchi still had a long way to go. Arcebal was confident that despite Chuchi’s occasional aggression, she would recover from her emotional wounds.
He is a 10-year-old Dutch Shepard who specialized in explosives. His service ended because of his inability to detect bombs during a training course.
“We’re thinking of enrolling Fyt in the Dr. Dog Program of the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS). If someone adopts him, we want them to continue his enrollment in the program,” added Arcebal.
Chika was the very first K-9 turned over to the Hound Haven. This 11-year-old Belgian Malinois worked as an explosive detection dog in Boracay before retiring due to old age.
Though she was supposed to be adopted by a family, the Hound Haven family couldn’t find the heart to let go.
“[Someone already passed the adoption screening. However, we couldn’t give her away.] So we had to tell the family politely that she wasn’t up for adoption anymore,” said Arcebal with a laugh.
She is a six-year-old Belgian Malinois who worked in the army in explosive detection. Though she was considered a champion dog, Tootsie was taken out of service after biting her handler.
“We were initially afraid of Tootsie because of her history, but she hasn’t bitten anyone else. All she needed was patience on our part,” said Hound Haven handler Reuben.
She is a six-year-old aspin and is a product of the army’s Aspin Training Program a few years ago. However, the handlers discovered that Ayay had lost the drive to work. They thought it was probably due to the canine’s domestic roots.
“Ay-ay is actually our smartest. Ay-ay could open the kennel, which was why we had to use a padlock,” stated Arcebal, adding that the aspin tracker once climbed their fence and escaped the hound.
He was a holiday rescue. About to be euthanized by his humans due to a deformity, Diego was rescued and ultimately raised by Hound Haven’s vet.
7. ROQUE AND GRACE
These two are recent additions to the Hound Haven family. They arrived in the third week of July from Iloilo and Cagayan de Oro, respectively.
According to army officials, Grace also had PTSD and was afraid of engine sounds.