On Dec 27th 2012 SPCA International received the following email from Iraq War Veteran, Shawn Flint, whose dog, Heidi, we helped rescue in 2009. Heidi and Shawn are now happily living in Colorado – wartime buddies now forever friends thanks to their love for each other and SPCAI’s Operation Baghdad Pups team.
I don't know if you'll remember me but you helped get Heidi home for me while I was serving in Iraq. My name Is Shawn Flint. It has been almost three years since I was able to bring Heidi home with your help and the help of SPCAI. I cannot tell you to this day how much I'm thankful for what you and all your people did for me and my beloved girl Heidi. I know to this day that my life would never be the same without her. I got your book, No Buddy Left Behind, for Christmas and I love it. Reading the stories of all the other pets and their soldiers and what they had to go through to get them home and what you and your team went through to make it possible to do this, reminds me of what I went through and it makes me stop and think back on it and I just smile thinking of the day I got your e-mail that Heidi had made it to the U.S. If you are ever back in Colorado give me a call, I owe you a dinner. I plan on sitting down and writing out Heidi's story. I'll make sure to send you a copy when I'm done. Once again I thank you and hold a special place in my heart for you and your team.
Your friend now and forever,
Iraq War Veteran
On Jan 23rd 2013 SPCA International received the following email from a group of Americans working in Iraq who requested their camp buddies, Wee-Wee and Hobie, be rescued from Iraq and given forever homes in the U.S. These Americans wouldn’t be returning from Iraq for over a year, so they could not give these dogs they love a good home – but SPCA International was able to find two loving families to adopt these special friends. Wee Wee is now living in Rhode Island with an Operation Baghdad Pups family and Hobie was adopted by an Iraq War Veteran in Arlington, VA who was eager to give an Iraqi animal a safe home after all the animal suffering he witnessed during his tour of duty in Iraq.
On behalf of everyone who knew Wee Wee and Hobie, I just wanted to say a huge thank you for every marvelous thing you have done. Watching the video of Wee-wee enjoying the snow and her new life was incredible. I can't believe the time you have taken out of your schedule to keep all of us updated. It is just as amazing.
With all the horrendous and depressing things the human race keeps on doing to each other and the planet, you and people like you, prove time and time again that there are more of US than THEM!
People have been delighted to come back after Christmas to the brilliant news of Hobie and Wee Wee's well deserved new lives which has brought tears of joy and loads of hugs. Have had enormous fun showing everyone Wee-Wee frolicking in the snow and everyone here wants to send you their love and thanks. Please also pass our thanks on to all the lovely people you work with, the kind hearted souls who give your dogs/cats their new loving life!
Thank you a million times, please stay in touch and if there is ANYTHING we can ever do to help you, you only have to say the word.
Wee Wee and Hobie’s Iraqi Friends!
"Operation Baghdad Pups helped our family get "Snow" home from Iraq. She definitely would not be around today if left in the hands of the locals at the base she was living near. It's taken a lot of patience and love from my sister and her husband in order to get Snow adjusted to life in the States after a long hard life in Iraq. Thanks, Baghdad Pups for getting her from the northern part of the country, to Baghdad, and all the way to Dulles where we were all reunited.
The Operation [has] saved so many animals and is a wonderful organization that lets the world know that our country has a special place in our hearts for animals caught in the perils of war. I urge anyone that is deployed down range to try and take advantage of this to save any animals that may have helped their units provide force protection, or simply boost moral." – Brandon Saam
"Our two dogs, [Roxy and Daisy], have settled in very nicely. Both have put on around 20 lbs and just love the American life… thanks to Operation Bagdad Pups… These 2 dogs have given our family a lot of happiness over the last two years and am very thankful for everything they do. Both Roxy and Daisy are hits throughout our neighborhood. All the neighbor children love playing with them and come running when they see us coming on our walks through the neighborhood. Thank you Operation Bagdad Pups for all you do for our men and women serving our country. It is really appreciated by our service members and their families." – Bill Dixon
From the streets of Baghdad, Iraq to Christmas in Bel Air, Maryland. Life is indeed a celebration thanks to SPCAI Operation Baghdad Pups." – Andrew Leeson (and Sara, the dog)
"I am most pleased to tell your audience about our new family member and companion, Blek, a wonderful Mine Detection Dog whose service in Iraq extended over seven years. Our bonding commenced during the ride home from the Marshall Legacy Institute near Dulles. Blek’s teeth prompted a visit to the Vet resulting in the extraction of seventeen teeth. Blek has recovered well from that experience and has no difficulty eating. We have a family dinner each weekend so Blek was exposed to a noisy gathering of kids and grandkids and responded very well. By now, he expects a lot of attention when the gang arrives. Blek has been introduced to the neighborhood and is accepted by both humans and fellow canines. I took Blek for a walk in the local park and he was an immediate attraction to many children playing there. He accepted much petting with grace and aplomb. My bride and I are blessed to enjoy the companionship of this wonderful creature. He has taken ownership of my person. Where I go , he goes with me. My daughter sat with him while my bride and I attended a Marine reunion. She took the photo of him watching at the door for our return. My daughter also established a Facebook account for Blek (http://facebook.com/Blek.MDD) and he has more friends in that medium than I do. We will be eternally grateful for the opportunity to give this handsome dude a fitting retirement from service well done. Thanks so much to the Marshall Legacy Institute and SPCA International’s Baghdad Pups Program for the incredible work you do on behalf of these hero canines." - Kenneth Gardner
"Zeke, a very young kitten orphaned in dead of Winter, with temperatures and wild chills below freezing, was tormented by emergency response personnel. Living on the barren parking lots at US Embassy, Baghdad, Zeke struggled desperately to survive on hand-outs poached from the dining hall, while hiding under vehicles for heat from engine blocks, and on chasses/axles for wind breaks. I worried daily whether I would find him again. Blessedly, in March 2012, OBP made it possible for Zeke to be rescued, saved from the horrible existence and dangers he was forced to endure at such an early age. Zeke now lives with my family in Virginia."
"Tigris and her 3 kittens – Tigris was named for her markings and because she was found at the US Embassy, Baghdad, located on the banks of the Tigris River. Tigris, a most loving cat, led us to her kittens, born April 1st on the gravel-covered Cornische roof at US Embassy, Baghdad. In the unforgiving Iraqi heat, Tigris and her kittens would have cooked on the stones covering the rooftop. OBP came to the rescue, and in May 2012, Tigris and her kittens were evacuated from the harsh environs of Iraq and brought to the US. OBP found a forever home in California for Clarence the cross-eyed kitten. Tigris and her other two kittens will go live with Zeke and my family in Virginia, where, thanks to OBP, they will all be loved and cherished." – Karen Maskew
"Balls is doing great and he continues to impress me with how adaptive and smart he his - I truly love my little orange buddy. He first got to Iraq in June of 2009. He quickly became our Squadron Mascot and soon received his own care packages and began to quickly fatten up. Balls even had his own CAV Stetson made and hanging in the command post. Balls was a great stress relief and buddy to everyone. He had food and water and a bed in every command post, work shop and even our Squadron Headquarters. Unfortunately our FOB began enforcing the "no pet" rule and was going to terminate all pets at this location. That's when we contacted [SPCA International] and requested help. In January 2010, with the outstanding support of Operation Baghdad Pups, Balls was rescued from Iraq and sent to Nashville. Since then he has settled down to comfortable and happy life here in Huntsville, AL. In December of 2010, his presence was requested at our Squadron Christmas Party where he happily greeted all his old friends. In 2011 he got to experience his first snow when we got a rare occurrence here in Huntsville - he didn't like it much. He is living the good life and we are so happy to have him. He is the best buddy I have ever had and is with me every where I go. Thank you Operation Baghdad Pups for brining our buddy home. He gave us so much over there and we are so happy he can now have a happy and safe life here." -CW3 Cheryl L. Anderson, UH-60 Maintenance Officer
"Spot was found with his brother Tigger living under one of our buildings, after apparently being orphaned while both were still very young kittens. Many of my team shared their food and water with Spot and Tigger, and in a short period of time, both of them [started to trust] us. It was not too long after that when my team began seeking information on how to rescue our small friends… We found the SPCA International Operation Baghdad Pups web site and it seemed almost too good to be true. Unfortunately, Tigger went missing before we could arrange for his Operation Baghdad Pups rescue, but I am happy to report that Spot is totally loving his forever home, and I cannot thank Operation Baghdad Pups enough for being the ones who made his rescue a reality." – Don M.
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