Gwinnett County woman steps up to help return beloved dog to Marine in California

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When Robert Curtin joined the Marines a couple of years ago, he entrusted his beloved German Shepherd to a fellow Marine with the request that if he couldn’t take care of him for any reason, to return him. However, through a series of unfortunate events that did not happen and somehow Bella turned up in a shelter in Canton, Ga. Fortunately, she was chipped and that chip led to Curtin, who contacted his mother, Cynthia Merritt, in New York in desperation.

“I was told that Bella had to be out by that Saturday. I was in New York, what could I do from there, Merritt said. “I went on this site for Marine Moms to see what I could do.”

And that, said Merritt, was when an angel from Gwinnett County stepped up to help.

“Melissa Burton drove all the way from Lawrenceville to Canton pick Bella up and take her home. She is a total stranger, doesn’t know us at all, and that is what she did,” said the very emotional mother of the Marine. “She is fostering her. She also took Bella to the vet and is taking it on herself to try and get Bella back to my son in California.”

In order to do that, Burton has started a GoFundMe page and fills in the story from there.

“When the owner got the call that Bella was in Canton, Ga he called his Mom. His mother did the only thing she could do from NY. She took to social media and posted a plea for help. I saw her plea and offered to help. Bella has been away from her humans for around 2 years now so we weren’t sure what to expect or what her demeanor was like. I’m happy to report Bella is a happy, energetic dog, who loves being outside. I was prepared for her to be depressed and sad but she is far from it. Since this morning she has had a shot, a bath, and even ate half a bowl of dog food and a treat! She has acclimated herself so quickly to her new temporary home that it’s almost unbelievable. On Monday Bella will visit the vet to have a check up and possibly get some doggie dental work done. She chewed through some metal fencing and damaged 2 teeth,” Burton wrote, going on to explain the reason for the GoFundMe Page. “I tell you all this because now her owner has to fly Bella home. It’s expensive to fly a dog from Atlanta to California. Let’s help bring this Marines pup home! He and his wife are desperate to get her home as soon as possible.”

The GoFundMe page is for $600 and at last check it had reached $255. If anyone is able to help return Bella to her family, they can contribute through this link to the page. Merritt said she just wanted to make sure that Burton got the credit she deserves for stepping up to help when she did.

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