A military family leaving MacDill for their next station overseas may have to leave two, four-legged loved ones behind.
Staff Sgt. Donnie and Terrie Parsons and their two young children spent three years here in Tampa. Their next stop is Aviano Air Base in northeastern Italy.
While they were here, they adopted two boxer puppies and named them “Stella” and “Captain.”
The dogs are now about a year old, and have grown quite a bit: Stella is 35 pounds and Captain is 20 pounds. Their size appears to have become a problem.
According to family friend Tracy Hoyt, the Parsonses said they did their homework, saved their cash and got everything lined up to fly the dogs to Italy.
So Donnie flew back here to the U.S. to get the dogs and fly back with them. But he says at the last minute, the airline told them the dogs were too big, and they would not ship them.
Now, he is out the money for that plane ticket, and has to fly back to Italy without Stella and Captain.
The two dogs are currently living with Terrie Parsons' mother in Virginia, but can only stay there temporarily. So they either have to get the dogs overseas or give them up entirely.
In the meantime, the family is making arrangements with PCS Pets to ship the dogs, but have to raise around $2,000 to do it.
Hoyt is also a military mom and has set up a fundraising page to help the Parsonses. She says family pets helped when her own children (now grown) had to adjust to moves.
Hoyt says military families have to sacrifice a lot -- but giving up the dogs is a sacrifice the Parson kids shouldn’t have to make.
“Dogs are security blanket, a support for military kids who have to move to new places,” she said.
If you’d like to help: http://www.gofundme.com/8qt3zs
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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