Happy Dog Welcomes Soldier Home

Military Soldier Adopts the Dog and Gives Him a Brand New Life!

We hear so many sad and heartbreaking stories about animal cruelty.

However, this particular story reaches into the depths of dog lover’s hearts everywhere.

In 2010, an animal officer heard a dog barking from a shed in a residential backyard.

Upon investigation, Officer Austin Wallace made a grim discovery to find an emaciated pit bull locked up.

The pit bull was covered in sores and severely neglected.

Wallace is the only officer that has dual commissioning in the state of Oregon as a Special Agent (investigating animal cruelty) and Police Officer.

I walked up to the house, a big fancy property, and there was this starving dog. The guy had money, that wasn’t the problem,” Wallace stated.

Wallace charged the owner for animal neglect.

The owner was forced to undergo a psychiatric evaluation. The pit bull was kept as a bait dog for dog fights.

The pit bull was rescued by Wallace and taken to the Oregon Humane Society where the dog was named Cotton and was put up for adoption.

Disturbingly, Cotton’s jaded background includes being rehomed three times. The third home is where the owner locked him away in the shed.

Cotton caught the eye of Shanti Kriens who was looking for a dog to surprise her husband with when he returned from military duty.

Phillip Kriens is a U.S. Marine who was stationed and fought in Afghanistan.

His wife, Shanti, adopted Cotton who would become her husband’s emotional support dog. Phillip has PTSD as a result of being in Afghanistan.

The Kriens consider Cotton as their “fur-st born” and opened their hearts and home to him. They nurtured and loved him as much as any pet-parent could.

His social media platforms have views that have exceeded 12 million.

His story went viral catching the attention of Coldwell Banker who did a commercial featuring Cotton.

The Oregon Humane Society also put Cotton and Officer Austin Wallace on a billboard in the city limits of Portland.

Cotton has a vibrant personality that is playful and funny. His hearing disability does not keep him back from being an active and healthy dog.

The Kriens adopted another deaf pit bull named Ella, who is Cotton’s sidekick and partner in crime.

The two dogs and the Kriens welcomed a new baby into their family of which both Cotton and Ella love and adore.

Since being back from Afghanistan, Phillip returns to weekend drill duty as scheduled each month for two days.

During those two days, Cotton would always wait on the porch or at the front door for his daddy to return home.

Every time Phillip walked back through the door, it’s as if Cotton hasn’t seen him for years!

Cotton lived six beautiful years with the Kriens and his canine sister, Ella.

Sadly, in 2016, Cotton left this world for greener pastures that he could roam happily. He impacted the lives of many people around him and will never be forgotten.

His legacy lives on as his mother, Shanti, continues to try promoting awareness that pit bulls are not assumedly dangerous and mean.

A pearly white pit bull with beautiful blue eyes and a heart made to love is an inspiration for other pit bulls worldwide!

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