Former military dog handler of PEDD Benny now searching for his K-9 partner

June 29, 2013

Steve Welch, is looking for his former Patrol Explosives Detection Dog Benny and hopes someone can offer assistance in finding his former K-9 battle buddy.

Steve and Benny bonded deeply during the time they worked for a contractor (Ronco) in Afghanistan in 2010-2011. When the two had to part because of changes in the contract, it was extremely hard for handler Steve Welch, who felt he was losing a family member.

Since then, his greatest desire has been to bring Patrol Explosives Detection Dog (PEDD) Benny home to live with him. Steve contacted Kevin Hanrahan, who’s renowned as an MWD advocate. and creator of a Facebook page called Soldier Dogs. Steve explained to Kevin about the Benny situation after they were separated.

Kevin is doing his best to help find Benny, but we all know social media works by the networking capacity it offers.

Steve describes the close bond between himself and his former K-9 partner

“I lost all contact with Benny. Last I knew he was sent back to Texas somewhere. Most of these companies look at the dogs as a piece of equipment of property. I love Benny like a member of my family and would do anything to bring him home. However every time I contact Ronco, I am brushed off and ignored.

I was the third one assigned to Benny and the only one to certify with him before leaving the States, needless to say we have an incredible bond. But I have come to reason with the fact that I will never see him again even though he saved my life.”

PEDD Benny is credited with saving Steve’s life one day while he was patrolling a vehicle search yard with Benny on a 15-foot lead as they were walking around the perimeter. Steve felt Benny nudge him like he usually did when Benny wanted to play.

Steve brushed it off, but then noticed that Benny was no longer at a heel. He walked back to find Benny laying on the ground with an unexploded mortar round between his paws.

EOD was called in and pointed out that Benny had actually pushed Steve to the side to stop him from stepping on the mortar. Because of this, Steve credits Benny with saving his life.

Steve is hoping to adopt Benny when his contract with Ronco is up. Any help that can be found in locating Benny and/or his current handler is appreciated. Anyone with information can contact Kevin Hanrahan on his Facebook page or by email at






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