Sometimes, when service members spend time overseas, they have the fortune of befriending animals they encounter during the course of their mission. Only, it isn’t very easy to bring their four-legged friends back home to the United States with them.
That’s what inspires the International SPCA to work as hard as they can to help these American heroes reunite with the dogs they regard as far more than just battle buddies.
Through their Operation Baghdad Pups: Worldwide program, SPCA International is able to organize incredible reunions between U.S. service members and the animals they’ve bonded with while serving overseas. After having to shut down their operation for an entire year because of recent restrictions, they were finally able to resume their main mission and have recently reunited 20 dogs from overseas with the service members who saved them.
“We were thrilled to see the CDC lift the restrictions for bringing dogs back to the U.S, and we are grateful to the boarding facility and its workers who cared for these special dogs until they were eligible and permitted to come home,” said Ina Clark, the executive director of SPCA International.
First, the foreign pups were accompanied by an SPCA International volunteer who kept them calm and comfortable while they were flown across the globe to Montreal. When they arrived, they received vaccinations and medical care at a Canadian boarding facility. The pups remained there for a few weeks while they waited to be eligible to enter the U.S.
Then, they were flown into John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City. Members of SPCA International greeted them at the gate and even brought along members of the dogs’ new adoptive families. Everyone was so excited when they finally arrived.
“It is so heartwarming to reunite our U.S. service members with the dogs they befriended while deployed, and we’re excited for the men and women whose furry friends from abroad will now join their family,” said Ina Clark, the executive director of SPCA International.
Now, these 20 lucky pups will be reunited with their heroes and are headed to their new, love-filled lives. They will be making the final leg of their journeys to their new forever homes within the week.
To date, this amazing program has already helped over 1,200 military members reunite with their canine companions. It isn’t easy, nor is it inexpensive, to help these reunions happen, but SPCA International works incredibly hard because it’s exactly what these incredible dogs and our American heroes deserve.
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