ANNVILLE, Pa. (WHTM) — A soldier just back from deployment overseas reunited with a very important family member in Lebanon County.
For almost 11 months, Sgt. Robert McCann was away from his not only his kids, but his dog Thor.
The Annville community stepped up to help in a big way.
At Fox Breeze Kennel and Grooming, mixed emotions were in the air on Wednesday.
“I mean as you can tell I’ve been crying all day because I know he’s leaving but it’s a happy cry. It’s not sad cry. It’s a happy cry, but it’s sad for me because he’s not going to be here anymore,” said Fox Breeze owner Marlene Boyd.
Boyd is talking about Thor the German shepherd, who she spent almost 11 months while McCann served overseas.
“I definitely missed him. It was definitely a rush of emotion knowing that I’m not going to have my dog with me for a year,” McCann said.
Unbeknownst to him, the kennel had a surprise, months in the making.
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“To let you know your bill has been paid. In full,” Boyd said.
“Really?” McCann said.
“In full,” she reiterated.
“Wow,” McCann said.
“Felicia and Bev got together and did fundraisers,” Boyd said.
“So we said let’s make it bath and nails by donation and some people would donate $100 So people would donate five, you know every penny counts,” said Felicia Lentini, manager of Fox Breeze Kennel and Grooming.
That was one of three fundraisers collecting more than $3,500 dollars.
“Definitely did not expect that. It’s very heartwarming and a huge relief to know that there’s people out there that still care and there’s still good in the people out there,” McCann said.
“He deserves it. He’s fighting for our country. He’s keeping our freedom alive,” Lentini said.
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Thor ended up at Fox Breeze at the last minute after other plans fell through and his caregivers treated him as their own.
“It’s like giving your child away. It really is. Because he’s been here for 10 months. He becomes part of your family,” Boyd said.
“It’s very easy to fall in love with him and get attached to him so that just shows that they actually care about the dogs and everything, that it’s not just another hobby for them or a job for them, that they actually care,” McCann said.
Since the staff raised more money than McCann would have owed, they plan to start a nonprofit to help other veterans.
“If your mom your dad even you would be going to the VA for surgery or any hospital but you’re a veteran and you don’t have that extra money, Instead of leaving that dog at home for weeks at a time with nobody caring for it they can bring it here for free,” Boyd said.