• Marine adopts former military K-9 partner after years of separation

    By: Natalie Dreier, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

    Updated:
    CHICAGO -

    It was a reunion years in the making, but now a Marine and his K-9 partner will be together forever.

    Sgt. Jacob Varela worked with Atilla for three years. They were teamed up in 2014, but they last saw each other in July 2017, WGN reported.

    Lance Cpl. Jacob Varela, a combat tracker with Military Working Dog Platoon, 2nd Law Enforcement Battalion, II Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group, pets his dog Atilla. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Lucas J. Hopkins/Released)
    Lance Cpl. Jacob Varela, a combat tracker with Military Working Dog Platoon, 2nd Law Enforcement Battalion, II Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group, pets his dog Atilla. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Lucas J. Hopkins/Released)

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    That was, until Tuesday.

    The former teammates met with hugs and kisses at Chicago’s Midway Airport.

    Varela had already retired from service, and recently the 8-year-old German shepherd trained tracker also finished her duty to the country, according to WGN.

    Mission K-9 Rescue works to reconnect human handlers with their K-9 partners after the dogs are no longer on the job.

    “These dogs serve with these guys. There’s a bond that we can’t understand,” Kristen Maurer from the rescue told WGN.

    Mission K-9 Rescue has reunited more than 275 teams and rescued 250 K-9s and still want to do more.

    To help create more reunions between the working dogs and their human handlers, click here.

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