Soldier’s adopted dog finally leaves Iraq for U.S.

An animal rescue group on Sunday picked up a U.S. soldier’s adopted dog from Iraq, ending the soldier’s weeks-long struggle to send the animal to her Minnesota home.

Operation Baghdad Pups, which said the U.S. military prevented its first attempt to take Ratchet the dog on October 1, picked up the animal in Baghdad with military clearance and flew it to Kuwait on Sunday.

The dog is expected to be flown to Washington on Monday, and if a veterinarian determines it is healthy, sent to Sgt. Gwen Beberg’s home state on Wednesday, Baghdad Pups publicist Larry Garrison said.

Beberg, who adopted the dog after soldiers rescued it from a burning trash pile in May, tried to have the group fly Ratchet to the United States on October 1 as her deployment neared an end.

But the military, which prohibits soldiers from adopting pets abroad and bringing them to the United States, confiscated the animal after Beberg put it on a convoy bound for Baghdad Airport, according to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which runs OBP.

Ratchet and Beberg, 28, drew the attention of thousands of people who signed two online petitions — linked through the SPCA’s Web site — urging the military to let Ratchet go to the United States.

The military cleared OBP to take Ratchet on Wednesday, but not in time for the group’s flight from Baghdad that day, the SPCA said.



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Husband, Father of 3, Programmer at heart, spends his days running ridiculously large data centers in the midwest.