"He was actually in tears. He had tried family, friends, a girlfriend and nobody would take care of his dog while he was going to be gone," Straub said.
He was out of options and was ready to do what he had promised so many times that he would try to avoid.
"We've got to do something about this." Straub remembered the employees at the shelter saying that.
Two-and-a-half years later, it's clear they did do something.
Tandra and Shane Sudman are in the Air Force. They actually met in the Air Force. And when the Air Force told them they were going to have to deploy overseas, they knew they were going to have to come up with a game plan for their golden retriever named Jake.
December. That's when they were scheduled to leave. They still can't exactly tell us where they were headed, but it's safe to assume it was some place you've likely heard of over the last few years
"Family wasn't going to be able to help us with Jake," Tandra said.
"He's like our child," Shane added.
So in December they dropped Jake off with one of the employees of the Pueblo Animal Shelter. Last week, the Sudmans returned to Pueblo to pick up Jake.
"Yep, he's going back home to his mom and dad," Jake's foster parent for the last six months, Jessica Garcia, said.
It's easy to tell Garcia's been trying not to think about the moment.
Garcia sent the Sudmans a lot of pictures of Jake while they were gone.
"My whole family fell in love with him," she said. "My other dogs are going to miss him."
Jake is one of only about "seven or eight" dogs and cats of deploying men and woman the shelter has been able to hook up with foster parents. They'd like to be able to do more, but readily acknowledge it's difficult for a family to give that kind of time commitment.
Straub would like to see other shelters in the United States try similar programs.
Pueblo calls their foster pet program for the military Home of the Heroes.
"It's our way of supporting the troops and saving another animal from coming into the shelter," she said.
To find out more about Pueblo Animal Services go to www.Puebloanimalservices.org or for information about Home of the Heroes call 719-544-3005.
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