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Ratchet is coming home

Operation Bagdad Pups and the SPCA have done it again.

You may have heard the story of Ratchet. Ratchet was found in a burning pile last May and rescued by a US soldier in Iraq. The soldier adopted and cared for the pup until early October, when Ratchet was confiscated by the US Army while the soldier was being moved. The soldier, who had served an extra 15 months, is finally due home in November. She was heartbroken when she was told that the Army had rules against her taking the dog home to the US.

In came the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which runs Operation Bagdad Pups. Ratchet and best friend Gwen Beberg, drew the attention of thousands of people who signed two online petitions urging the military to let Ratchet go to the United States.

Last Wednesday the pressure convinced the military to clear OBP to take Ratchet . Unfortunately, it was not in time for the Ratchet's flight from Baghdad.

Yesterday, private security contractors took Ratchet to the airport, where OBP put Ratchet on the charter flight to Kuwait.

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.

The dog is expected to arrive in Washington.

Operation Bagdad Pup has a history of helping soldiers bring their pups home. It is an amazingly difficult and expensive feat. The logistics of moving animals from a war zone to a new home are extremely complicated and expensive.
Every animal in the Operation Baghdad Pups program must already have a home in the states before being accepted. SPCA International carefully screens the soldier to make sure they are aware of the potential challenges they and their families might face as the dog or cat they have befriended adjusts to living in a real home and no longer in the middle of a war zone.

The rely on donations to bring dogs home with their soldiers. This is an easy prevention for the issues associated with PTSD. To donate, chick here.


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