SPCA International wants to ensure the safe travel and humane care of the animals that embark on their life-changing journey to the U.S. as part of Patriot Pets (formerly known as Operation Baghdad Pups: Worldwide). The logistics required to rescue the mascots and companion animals of U.S. military personnel deployed overseas involve the extensive and diligent coordination of our resources and expertise. Your generous contributions will help SPCA International bring the dogs and cats of our brave service members to a safe, happy, forever home in the U.S.

In coordination with the service member who wishes to bring a stray dog or cat home, the following steps are required to complete the clearance and transport process:

  1. Initial request submitted and reviewed.
  2. Application and detailed information about Patriot Pets is sent to the service member.
  3. The completed application must be returned within 30 days.
  4. SPCAI staff confirms the animal meets the program requirements.
  5. Coordination of required vaccinations begins. For dogs only: if the animal has not received a rabies vaccination at 3 months of age or older, an additional 30-day quarantine will be required.
  6. Communication with the applicant continues.
  7. Coordination of pick up and transport of animal(s) to partner kennels.
  8. Animals are examined by a local veterinarian and given additional required vaccinations and/or treatments.
  9. Animals are then placed in the queue for departure in the order of arrival at the local kennel. Timeline is dependent on vaccinations, and the number of animals waiting to leave; an average of 45-60 days
  1. International flights are coordinated and scheduled. Please note that flights do not depart daily. There are many restrictions that may impede the transport: aircraft size and availability, coordination with flight volunteers, kennel space on aircraft, heat restrictions, export ministry office closures, illness, vaccinations, costs and route.
  2. Coordination of international travel paperwork begins.
  3. Plans are finalized with the applicant.
  4. Delivery of animal(s) to the airport is arranged. 
  5. Animal departs. Depending on the route, this could take between 2 to 7 days to reach the U.S.
  6. Upon arrival, the animal is examined by a stateside veterinarian, given time to rest and paperwork is re-issued (1-2 days).
  7. Coordination of domestic cargo flight or ground transport with the family of the applicant is booked. THE CONSIGNEE MUST CONFIRM THE EMAIL BOOKING WITHIN 24 HOURS. Please note that due to the high volume of requests, the applicant is responsible for costs related to domestic transport ONLY (average $700 this pricing is subject to change and is contingent on the weight of the animal and is set by the airline, actual cost may be higher or lower.)
  8. Animal arrives HOME!
  9. Mission complete:
    • Applicant/family sends a confirmation to staff upon arrival of the animal(s)
    • Applicant needs to submit a review of their experience with Patriot Pets on Great Non-Profits and Google.

Your ongoing support helps not only to save the lives of these loyal animal companions, but also to show our appreciation to our service men and women for the sacrifices they willingly make every day to protect our freedom.  Help continue the healing relationship that develops between our military and these very important pets – donate today!