Thanks to the Associated Press and NPR.org, we are brought the story of a one-woman army to rescue stray cats and dogs living in Baghdad. Louise, a former soldier and now security consultant, has been working to rescue cats and dogs from the war-torn areas of Iraq for the last few years. “Completing piles of paperwork, calling countless officials and, on one occasion, bursting into tears at the airport have all been required to get animals out of the war zone.”
Since rescuing her first cat, Simba, three years ago, Louise has managed to send four more cats and two dogs back to her native England. The costs (up to $3,500 an animal) are covered by donations and her "old stuff" sold on eBay. Any animal imported into Britain must go through a six-month quarantine.
It is impossible to gauge how many dogs, cats, and other animals have been rescued the past five years by soldiers and foreigners. The London-based Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad says there are no established groups actively working in Iraq to rescue small animals.
Thousands of stray cats and dogs in Baghdad's Green Zone and on U.S. military installations have been trapped and euthanized under a U.S.-funded program. Strays can spread rabies and other diseases that could be transmitted to soldiers, said Lt. Col. Raymond F. Dunton, chief of preventive medicine for the military in Iraq.
Last year, nearly 7,100 animals were caught in humane traps, Dunton said. Of those, about 5,300 were euthanized.
To find out more information please visit:
Baghdad Cat Rescue: http://www.baghdadcatrescue.com
Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad: http://www.spana.org