A MARINE is hoping to raise enough money to bring a sick puppy he rescued from a suspected Taliban compound to the UK.
Stamford-born Corporal Steve Sharrad, 28, of 42 Commando’s L Company, found the pup on a routine mission to occupy a compound in Afghanistan.
The company cleared the compound and found the dog, who they later named Trigger, tied up in a corner.
Cpl Sharrad took pity on the dog and rescued him.
But he now needs to raise about £5,000 to get Trigger to the UK and safety.
The former Queen Eleanor School pupil, who is currently on sick leave in Plymouth, said: “We went out to occupy the compound and made some arrests.
“We normally have to leave someone there to tend to the livestock so we left a young lad there and paid him $10 for the puppy.
“I carried him three quarters of a mile back to our checkpoint. He was riddled with fleas and covered in ticks, he was in a bad condition.
“His front legs were tied together when we found him, so he couldn’t run away from the compound.”
Cpl Sharrad started feeding Trigger on military rations to build up his strength, before a dog handler provided some working dog food.
He had some worming tablets sent out in a care package, along with flea powder and a flea collar.
Cpl Sharrad added: “Trigger is now doing much better. We didn’t know if we could keep him alive at first but he is now fit and well.”
The company is trying to bring Trigger to the UK with the help of Nowzad, a charity that rescues stray and abandoned dogs from Afghanistan and Iraq.
The £5,000 target will pay for the puppy’s flight, vet bills and six-month quarantine period.
Trigger is thought to be a Weimaraner Labrador cross.
Cpl Sharrad said: “It’s possible I will take him home myself. I’m talking to my wife about it but we do have two cats so it could be difficult.
“Trigger is great in the camp, he’s a stereotypical puppy and a bundle of fun. Everyone loves him.
“I had to ask permission from my boss to keep him, who wasn’t impressed to start with, but Trigger won him over. The lads are taking care of him out there and he’s in a position to start his recovery process.
“I have had quite a bit of support from my mum and filmmaker Chris Terrill, who was filming a Channel 5 documentary with us, has been a massive help.
“I have every intention of going back to see Trigger as soon as I can.”
If you would like to help rescue Trigger and bring him to the UK, visit www.justgiving.com/nowzad-trigger.