Veteran makes desperate plea to CDC to allow service dog to remain in US
An Air National Guard veteran is calling on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to allow his service dog to stay in the country.
"If someone from the CDC were to see this news report, my message to them would be help," says Staff Sgt. AJ Kirrish.
Kirrish, who lives in California, says he rescued Harley while on deployment in the Middle East. Kirrish says when he tried to return home with Harley, the dog got detained at John F. Kennedy International Airport due to an alleged error in the vaccination paperwork.
"She was vaccinated, spayed and even given some training," says Kirrish.
Kirrish says the CDC is now trying to get Harley on a flight back to the Middle East on Sept. 7.
Paws of War on Long Island is trying to help Kirrish keep the dog. The group has a program where it gets dogs overseas vaccinated and then brought safely to the U.S. Paws of War says this is the first time it has ever had an issue like this.
Robert Misseri, with Paws of War, says to his knowledge all of Harley's paperwork was filled out correctly. He says he's getting little to no response from the CDC.
"All we ask for is reconsideration of the paperwork, to let us know what the problem was," says Misseri. "And we said if there is a problem, why can't we quarantine or revaccinate."
Rep. Kathleen Rice and other Long Island lawmakers wrote a letter about Harley to the CDC.
In a tweet, Rice said, "I'm joining the LI delegation to demand @CDCgov intervene and save this dog's life."
Kirrish is also a firefighter in California. He hopes to one day see Harley again.
Representatives Peter King, Tom Suozzi and Lee Zeldin also signed the letter to the CDC asking for Harley to be returned to Kirrish.