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Man’s Best Friend

May 12, 2020

A Lakewood Marine is doing his best to honor the soldier that has had his back on and off the job.

Richard White-Pickett, a contractor for the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, has spent his last year working and living with his partner, bomb-sniffing canine, Abel. The team serves their country by helping clear and sweep areas of possible explosives to ensure the safety of all.

You better believe when a man and his dog work in such a high-stakes and precise field, they develop an unbreakable bond. The trust must be absolute when it comes to this kind of work, and White-Pickett and Abel spent a lot ot training time to become an efficient team.  And that is why White-Pickett needs our help. They both will be returning stateside soon, and he wants to keep Abel by his side. Unfortunately, Abel is owned by a company that contracts working dogs to the military and other organizations, and White-Pickett’s request to take his canine companion home with him to Lakewood was denied. Abel will likely go back into service with another handler. So White-Pickett decided to raise the funds to pay for Abel, who is valued at about $25,000 due to his highly specific skills, and make the company an offer he hopes it won’t refuse.

White-Pickett started a petition and created a GoFundMe to see if he can garner the support need to persuade Abel’s owner to have a change of heart. Any funds raised beyond the purchase price will be donated to the Rescue22 Foundation: if Abel’s current owner doesn’t sell him to White-Pickett, all the funds raised will go to the foundation.

“It is my goal to certify Abel as a service and therapy dog, partner with multiple foundations, and share him with as much of the world as I possibly can,” White-Pickett said.

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