A U.S. Army unit’s Christmas wish is to rescue their pets from freezing weather conditions.
Nine puppies and a cat named Little Beans have been found by U.S. Army Specialist L and his fellow soldiers, who are currently deployed. (The soldiers did not want to share their names for privacy reasons.)
The pups — named Onyx, Anakin, Ella, Gremlin, Obi, Lulu, Robert, Franky and Jerry — and Little Beans were “born into a hostile environment that threatens to claim their lives at any moment,” the New York-based nonprofit Paws of War told Fox News Digital.
“Most are just puppies and they don’t stand a chance against the harsh elements and ever-present danger lurking in every direction and, as the temperatures plunge and snow begins to fall, they are already struggling,” the organization said in an email.
The animals have been cared for by the soldiers, who are doing their best to protect them from cold weather conditions.
Over the Christmas holiday, the gift the soldiers are asking for is their pets’ safety, Paws of War co-founder Robert Misseri told Fox News Digital.
The soldiers are calling on Paws of War and its War-Torn Pups and Cats program to help ship the dogs and cat to safety in America.
“Alongside the many dangers these animals face overseas, the winter weather is brutal,” Misseri wrote in a statement.
“With snow and below-freezing temperatures, these [animals] have nowhere to go if not with the soldiers who are doing their best to protect them.”
“We are working around the clock to be able to rescue everyone, but this is a big operation, and due to the increase in war and unrest, we have been inundated with requests for help from our troops to save the animals they love.”
Specialist L, the unit’s spokesperson, detailed to Paws of War the special bond he has with puppy Onyx.
The specialist mentioned that his own dog, Tonka, passed away right before he left for deployment.
“He was almost like a brother to me, and I was sure I’d never find another best friend like him,” he wrote in a statement. “That all changed when I met Onyx.”
Specialist L found Onyx while on duty during a torrential rainstorm, he said.
The puppy had been abandoned in the dirt by the side of the road and was covered in “bleeding wounds, [with] almost no fur and horribly infected skin … and he was crawling with mites.”
“My heart broke when I saw him and I wasn’t sure whether he would survive, he was so small — barely the size of my boot,” he said.
“I couldn’t walk away,” the specialist went on. “I looked into his eyes and saw he wanted to live. I also saw the same unconditional love I used to get from Tonka. He was coming with me.”
Specialist L said he did everything he could to help the puppy, working around his duties and “spending every moment” by his side.
“I didn’t dare hope for a while, but day by day he grew a little stronger, and after four months of care he had recovered enough that his personality was showing, and I knew then, there was no way I could face the heartbreak of losing him and leaving him behind to suffer,” he said.
“He means the world to me,” the specialist added. “He now has enough energy to play and he helps me smile each day in a place where we don’t have much to smile about. I look forward to spending time with him just like I did with my old friend.”
As the winter grows colder and sub-zero temperatures are more common, Specialist L said he can “only pray that Onyx has the chance to make it … to a safe and happy life with me in America.”
“He has fought too hard to make it this far,” Specialist L continued. “I just want him to make it home, along with the other pups and Little Beans.”
“They have all given us so much joy and companionship, and we are pleading for help to save them because the alternative is something none of us are ready to face.”
Paws of War currently has 40 rescue missions in progress, noted Misseri.
The organization is only able to complete the rescues with “the support of compassionate members of the public who help us save these innocent lives for our heroes,” he said.
For more information on the rescue mission, visit pawsofwar.org.