SAN DIEGO - An effort is under way to reunite a local military family with their two dogs. The Sheets family moved from Oceanside to Maryland last week on military orders and had no choice but to leave their dogs behind when they both failed airline restrictions due to health problems.
Gunner, an 8-year-old bulldog, was denied boarding because of his restricted airway. The other dog, Brutus, was too overweight. Even in the jumbo crate, he was not able to pass the rule of turning around in his kennel.
Crystal Sheets says the whole ordeal has been a major stress and difficult on her Marine husband and two daughters, who are 8 and 4 years old. To add to it all, Sheets' father passed away on Wednesday.
"It's been a long week," Sheets said. "It's been tough on the kids and the family to relocate and have this happen."
8-year-old Kendra Sheets says her family just is not the same.
"It's been pretty lonely, especially going to the store without them and not seeing what they are up to," she said.
The dogs are staying with the family's former neighbor in Oceanside until they can make arrangements to try to move the dogs.
Family friend Georgina Jarrette is desperately trying to reunite the family.
"I have reached out to people on Facebook," said Jarrette. "I have looked on Craigslist. I've looked into shipping them, renting a car and meeting them halfway and nothing is panning out."
Jarrette believes she has a solution to fly the dogs to Maryland, but with their health problems, it will cost around $1,500.
"If I had the $1,500 to give them, I would give it," she said. "I am hoping someone can help me find a solution. It would be huge if we could make that happen. It would be life-changing."
MARCH 29, 2013 UPDATE: The fundraising effort to reunite this military family with their dogs has met its financial goal.