Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Kittens Rescued from Combat Zone in Iraq

While assigned to a U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Iraq, a member of the U.S. Department of State Diplomatic Security Service and his colleagues have been helping to rescue stray cats and kittens by providing them with a safe place to live until arrangements can be made to fly them out of the combat zone and to their new homes in the United States. So far, they have rescued 20 cats and kittens, with the most recent group of felines making their journey to Alley Cat Rescue.

Back in May, a request was made by an
individual living in Baghdad, to foster a mama cat and her five kittens for a few weeks until they could be flown to the U.S. Soon after their arrival in Erbil, it was noticed that the mother cat's belly seemed to be growing, and sure enough she was already pregnant with another litter. In early June, mama (Josie) gave birth to five more kittens. 

The first attempt to fly the original five kittens to the U.S. was made in early July; however, due to cargo restrictions the attempt was unsuccessful.  Another attempt was made in August but due to the increased threat, the commercial flights were cancelled.

Finally in early December Josie and her first litter, now nine months old, were flown to the U.S. where they are being fostered by a volunteer with SPCA-International.  Josie’s second litter, now six months old, were flown to the U.S. on December 21st.  Despite limited access to veterinary services, all kittens were vaccinated and tested prior to making their journey. Alley Cat Rescue is honored to take in five of the kittens and we cannot thank the men and women enough for caring for animals living in combat zones...what selfless acts of compassion!

For more information, please visit the Erbil Cats Facebook page that has been created to help rescue more cats from Iraq.

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