Offspring Of Hero Dogs Rescued Too

This is so neat!  Five other stray dogs, Bear, Alph, Low Rider, Jackie and B, have been brought to the U.S. from Afghanistan. They are offspring of the 3 dogs—Rufus, Target, & Sasha–who attacked a suicide bomber at a U.S. base.

Here’s coverage of Low Rider’s story–who got her name from her laid back personality & her fondness of sleep.  I’m thinking her short stature might have something to do with it too.  What incredibly lucky dogs!

Hero Dogs Reunited With Soldier

Target, Rufus, & Sasha, stray dogs in Afghanistan that hung around a U.S. base, sensed something wasn’t right about a man wearing an Afghan Border Police uniform. They started barking and then attacked what turned out to be a suicide bomber trying to enter the base The bomber was forced to detonate before he had gained entry. Sadly, Sasha was mortally wounded and had to be euthanized, but no soldiers were killed.

Now Rufus will be living in the U.S. with Sgt. Christopher Duke, one of the soldiers who was saved. And Target will be living with a medic from the base. Duke notes the irony that it wasn’t weaponry or equipment that stopped the bomber, it was just ubiquitous, stray dogs.

Pompeii’s Dog

Stray dogs are a big problem at the site of the Pompeii ruins. So much so, they were sited as one of the main problems plaguing the site.

Happily, a humane response has been developed in the form of The (C)ave Canem Project. The project promotes and facilitates the adoption of dogs by Italians and foreign visitors.  Besides vaccinating and spaying, the organization also provide each dog with a European Passport making it easier for foreigners to adopt.  The Project also feed and care for the dogs within the ruins.

I’d much rather bring a dog home from a trip than some touristy tchotchke.  Wouldn’t it be cool if other countries developed similar programs for their stray animal problems?  (thanks Jennifer!)

Baghdad To Kill 1 Million Stray Dogs

Officials in Baghdad began poisoning & shooting stray dogs on a large scale in April when they finally received funding to do something about the estimated 1.25-1.5 million stray dogs in Baghdad.  In three months, the culling teams, made up of vets and police shooters, have killed about 58,000 dogs with plans to kill 1 million total.  Residents are warned not to pick up the poisoned meat they’re putting out to kill the dogs.  In addition to the danger of accidental human poisoning, there is the risk of poisoning “endangered species such as the Cinereous Vulture of which only 14-20,000 remain.”

Before you condemn Baghdad officials for this horrific slaughter, let me put this into terms to which you can better relate.  Depending on the figure you use for the area of Baghdad (78.8 – 283.4 sq. miles) and using the lower estimate of strays (1.25 million), that breaks down to 12-39 stray dogs per city block.  Can you even imagine what it would be like to live with anything close to that number of feral dogs—hungry, with parasites, and possibly diseased—running loose around your home?  This is a public health issue.

Consider also that there aren’t any animal shelters in Baghdad and even before the war, culling is how officials dealt with stray dogs.  Another complicating factor is that basic municipal services like garbage collection have not been restored since the war started in 2003 and trash in the streets is providing a ready food source for the stray dogs, which leads to more dogs surviving and to bigger litters.  Some Baghdad streets have actually been blocked off by giant garbage piles.

A lot has to change, because clearly culling alone won’t fix anything.  Besides restoring Baghdad to a functioning city, there have to be funds dedicated to animal welfare.  It’s also critical that there be a campaign to change Iraqi views on spaying & neutering.  From what I understand, it’s considered cruel and unnatural to spay & neuter dogs, even by veterinarians.

Update: Dog Saves Dog On Freeway

Sadly, there is no real chance of finding the amazing dog that risked its own life to haul an badly injured dog to safety. The event actually happened in March.  And unfortunately the injured dog died.

Like many/most countries, Chile isn’t an easy place to be a dog.   It’s estimated there are 220,000 stray dogs in the Santingo area alone.  Earlier this month, Chilean authorities raided the Benjamin Vinuña Mackenna Animal Protection Society where disease is rampant and animals are being killed in huge numbers instead of sheltered and adopted out.  This organization was established in 1915 and reportedly is representative of the conditions in most shleters in Chile.

Here’s an interesting gallery of dogs in Chile.

You can also see the video and read a translation of the news commentary.