Retired military K-9 reunited with handler in San Antonio

“So I found out he was up for retirement, of course I wanted him so bad,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sergeant Mike Alcala.

SAN ANTONIO — Christmas came early for a retired military dog, and his former handler, U.S. Air Force Staff Sergeant Mike Alcala.

Alcala was reunited with 10 year old German Shepherd, John.   

John served as an explosive detection dog at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickman in Hawaii for 8 years. Sergeant Alcala was his handler for 3 years. Sergeant Alcala and John had an unbreakable bond.  

John retired earlier this month, due to old age.

“So I found out he was up for retirement, of course, I wanted him so bad,” said Alcala.

John ended a distinguished military career protecting civilians, fellow service members, and high profile VIP’s. Some of those VIP’s included American Presidents, first ladies and foreign dignitaries. Now retired, John needed a forever home.

“I heard about American Humane through a buddy of mine, and that’s what he did to get one of his retired dogs.  I thought I’d reach out to see what American Humane can do for me,” said Alcala.

American Humane answered Sergeant Alcala’s call, transporting John from Hawaii to San Antonio. The two had not seen each other since September 2021, when Alcala was reassigned to another base.

“American Humane is honored to bring these 2 partners back together, after 2 long years apart. After serving for 8 years for our country, John deserves a comfortable, relaxing retirement with his best friend,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, President & CEO of American Humane

After a long flight, John and his best friend were reunited. John also got to meet his new family. John’s new family includes, Sergeant Alcala’s wife Brittany Alcala and their 10 month old daughter.

John will now get to spend the rest of his retirement with his best friend and family.

“He just gets to relax.  I’m so happy for him to be able to live the lavish lifestyle now,” said Alcala.

According to American Humane, K-9 veterans often retire with health complications, which can require expensive medical care. The Government will not pay for those expenses, so the organization will cover all of John’s veterinary care for the rest of his life.

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