U.S. Army Sgt. Gwen Beberg doesn’t want to leave her war buddy behind.
Beberg, who has been deployed to Iraq, is trying to convince the Army to let her bring home a dog she rescued in May from a burning pile of trash in Iraq. Beberg was seperated from the scruffy black dog, which she named Ratchet, recently after she was transfered to a new base in anticipation of going home.
Soldiers are usually prevented from bringing strays home from Iraq, but the U.S. Defense Department has made exceptions in the past.
So far, 30,000 people have signed an online petition asking the Army to make an exception for Ratchet, and Beberg is getting help from Operation Baghdad Pups, a program started last year by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals International.
So far, the SPCA has helped bring 50 dogs and six cats back to the United States from Iraq, SPCA officials said.
The group is also workingwith Congress to get rid of the rule forbidding soldiers from adopting animals, as pets often help soldiers readjust when they return home.
Officials with Operation Baghdad Pups are scheduled to meet soon with the military to discuss Ratchet’s case.
- Staff Writer Bryan Dean