Catherine Savoia

MSA is a proud supporter of veterans. Many of our Explosive Detection Canine Handlers have prior military experience, and were actively involved in working with K9 soldiers during their tenure.  As we continue to salute the achievements of working dogs, we would like to share their heartwarming stories of courage and friendship.

While serving in the Navy, Petty Officer Second Class Michael Probus was afforded the opportunity to join an elite group of canine handlers in the military police. During the course of his career, Probus worked with many K9 partners, but formed a special bond with his dog Max while stationed in Spain for two years. Max worked as a Patrol & Explosive Detection dog during his service and helped to save the lives of countless soldiers during his service. Probus remembers his time with Max fondly, saying that he whenever he went out on a mission he felt safer with Max, stating that no matter the circumstance, “that dog was going to bring me home.” Probus had the opportunity to adopt Max when he was retired, unfortunately could not afford the cost of flying Max stateside. Thankfully, with the enactment of “Robby’s Law” the military now covers the cost of bringing dogs home. While Max was never reunited with Probus, he spent his retirement with a fellow soldier who was able to step in.


Mike Probus & Max Canine Max is sitting on the military Vehicle
Mike Probus & Max
When Cpl. Megan Leavey was discharged from the Marines in 2008 after being injured, she wanted just one thing—to bring her K-9 partner, Sgt. Rex, home with her.  But Rex still had a few years of work ahead of him, forcing Leavey to leave behind her furry partner. Leavey got another chance in 2012, when Rex’s development of facial palsy left him incapable of working.  Leavey explained that for safety reasons, Rex was not deemed fit to be adopted out, putting him at risk of being put down if Leavey’s adoption wasn’t approved.  Leavey fought to save and reunite with her old partner, backed by tremendous support from veterans groups and Senator Chuck Schumer. 

Thankfully, in 2012 Leavey and Rex were reunited for good.  Rex was able to enjoy a happy, comfortable, and leisurely retirement at Leavey’s home. “Rex is my partner; I love him,” Leavey said. “He has literally saved my life, and gotten me through a lot of hard times, emotionally, too.” 

Image credits: ABC News & CBS New York

MSA would like to thank all soldiers for their bravery and sacrifice in service to our country. Man, woman, or canine, your dedication to our freedom is commendable.

“He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.”
– Anonymous

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