Some obscenely inappropriate adoptions took place in February 2014. Robby’s Law was broken when handlers were not given the opportunity to adopt their beloved military working dogs, and people in the Army’s Office of the Provost Marshal General (OPMG) took Army-owned bomb-sniffing dogs. These OMPG individuals were listed as the contact for TEDD handlers calling to get the status of their MWD, submitting adoption paperwork, and later overseeing the TEDD adoptions. Witnesses have shared accounts of these dogs leaving the adoption site with the “guys running the adoptions.” A group of Labs was seen being taken out by OPMG officials, and we have been told that they make great hunting dogs. A beautiful black Lab named Fistik was taken and now lives in Wisconsin with a man who had ties to the OPMG “guys running the adoptions.”
The following is public information and was found with simple Google searches
The above screenshot shows a user named Leo hoping to get some photos of his newly adopted U.S. Army Explosive Detector Dog FISTIK from handlers. The message includes a link to his email address firstname.lastname@example.org, which we later found belonged to a Leo Gonnering. Leo is a hunter, but we’re pretty sure he could afford to purchase his own hunting dog.
This above Facebook post on the now defunct Boots & Collars page shows “Tom Jones” – a fake profile that was created in 2014 – giving an update on Fistik (actually spelling it wrong as Fistic), stating that they’re keeping her and have renamed her Mystic. WHO RENAMES A HERO WAR DOG?? This stripped her of the very unique name – handlers lovingly called her “Fishstix.” He also states that he messaged the dog handler (Brian), but didn’t get a reply. We now know that he did communicate with two of the handlers and actually had the nerve to ask for an award that Fistik had been given by the U.S. War Dogs Association.
Leo Gonnering left a voicemail for The NY Post reporter, stating that he “adopted the dog from the Army two years ago. He and his family have no intention of giving the dog up to his prior handler.”
The above screenshot illustrates the link between Leo Gonnering and OPMG “the guys running the adoptions” – Robert Squires & Richard Vargus. Oddly, this message was sent the day of the TEDD adoptions. Unless Leo was working remotely, this confirms to us that he was not present to adopt Fistik in person.
This Washington Post listing for a fundraiser shows Leo Gonnering listed as a contact – and his email@example.com email address.
Leo Gonnering’s LinkedIn profile with his background ties to the OPMG, work within the Pentagon and as a retired MP officer. Robert Squires made the extra effort to get Fistik to his friend in DC, but he didn’t have the time to contact handlers. Unacceptable.
A third handler has come forward to share his stories with us about his time with Fistik. Three handlers were robbed of the chance to adopt by people who were selfish and abused the authority granted to them. The OPMG knew what they did was wrong, and the man who adopted Fistik is not willing to give her up. It’s possible he has more than one MWD. This wrong needs corrected ASAP. These handlers know only one could be chosen, but they all believe they should have had the opportunity that was stolen from them. The investigation looms, and we eagerly await the day when this information is presented.