Operation Bagdad Pups
Operation Baghdad Pups began with an email received on September 11, 2007. The desperate words of the U.S. soldier serving in Iraq told of his desire to get the dog, Charlie, he and his regiment had befriended out of the Middle East before their tour of duty ended. Because it is against regulations for troops to befriend an animal or transport one on a military flight, the likelihood of the determined soldiers succeeding alone seemed doubtful.
Members of this Army regiment discovered the dog earlier that summer while patrolling a dangerous neighborhood on the outskirts of Baghdad. The malnourished and flea covered puppy, no bigger than a baked potato, was scooped up by a soldier who felt sorry for the pitiful orphan. Hidden in a tattered blanket, the puppy was snuck onto the Coalition Outpost. As the soldiers took turns secretly caring for the puppy the strong bond between man and dog grew.
“Taking care of Charlie gave me something to look forward to everyday,” one soldier explained. “When all the guys got to playing with him we forgot where we were, the horrible things we had seen, and what we still had to go through. Charlie definitely made our time in Iraq more bearable. He was like a welcomed piece of home right here in the midst of Baghdad.”
Abandoning Charlie in this war ravaged country, consumed in hatred and destruction, would have meant certain death for him. “We all made him a promise that we would not give up. We’d find a way somehow to get him to a better life in the states,” the soldier wrote in that first email.
How could SPCA International not intervene?
Operation Baghdad Pups has now successfully rescued Charlie and other dogs befriended by our troops, out of Iraq and Afghanistan. However, the logistics of moving animals from a war zone to a new home are extremely complicated and expensive. To learn more about these complicated hurdles each Baghdad Pup must overcome, visit the efforts page.
With each rescue, the Operation Baghdad Pups team repeatedly beats the odds, but the challenges are still very much a reality. Soon after Charlie’s rescue, SPCA International heard from many more military personnel in Iraq hoping for assistance. Before long, SPCA International had over 35 active cases and that number continues to grow daily.
Every case is funded from generous donations from people like you.
READ MORE AT OPERATION BP