Poppy was found at the side of the road next to her 2 dead siblings in Basrah, she was very small and her mother was nowhere to be seen so if Adam and his team had not picked her up and taken her to their camp then it is likely she would have met the same fate as her siblings.
Max came along shortly after when Adam and his team saw some Iraqi Guards not treating him very well. They sent one of their local workers to speak to the guards and after some negotiation Max was handed over to Adam.
After some TLC both dogs are now healthy but Adam’s contract will be ending soon and he desperately wants to bring Poppy and Max home to the UK.
This is Dori, she has had a very rough time of things and now her owner wants to take her away from Iraq so she can have the life she deserves. Dori had a very bad accident and was almost killed but due to her loving owners dedication she survived. Her story is below along with some pictures (very graphic).
”Dori first came to our attention in Sep 2008 while standing next to one of the bins in the Danish Demining Group compound Basrah – she was around 8 months old at the time, Lone took her to her room, fed her a tin of tuna and the bond was established, after a quick house meeting it was decided that Ms Lone could keep her. She was named Dori after one of the character from the Film “Finding Nemo” (she wasn’t the smartest cat on the block – bless!)
After a happy 4 months Dori decided that it would be a good idea to jump onto the electricity transformer box inside the compound; maybe she was attracted by the hypnotic buzz and the warmth the transformer produces, they say “Curiosity Kill’s the Cat”, well it nearly did that day. Dori managed to arc her-self between two of the electricity phases and 50,000 volts passed through her body, causing some horrific injuries. How she survived is a mystery at least 5 other cats have met their destiny this way. Apart from her front left hand paw (which swelled up to nearly the size of her head) she seemed fine but then the skin on her two legs started to peel off exposing muscle and tendons. Her back right leg was the next to go; it appears the electricity passed through her body and exited through the Hock Joint (ankle in humans), the leg from the Hock Joint down was completely dead and started to decay; there was no saving the leg and it had to be removed.
We took advice from a UK Vet (Jasper Gale – many thanks Jasper!) on how to remove the leg, I went on R&R and bought a junior hack saw, Lone went to Denmark and managed to smuggle in some anaesthetic and suturing material and we were prepared to amputate the leg at the mid femur. Then we found an Iraqi vet who said he would conduct the operation (after he offered to “give us a better cat, one with 4 legs” – I don’t think he grasped the pet concept!). After clear instructions, with drawings supplied by Jasper, he performed the operation. He took the leg off at what would be in human anatomy the shin bone; the flap of skin he folded over the stump when he closed the wound was not enough and the bone burst through the stitches. Again, Jasper was called. He made it clear that if the exposed bone was left, infection would set in and we would have no chance; Dori would die a slow and painful death.
The vet was asked to come in again and do it right! We explained on the white board where to cut and how to do it. I stayed with the vet for the first skin incision and all appeared to be going well, so I left to tell Lone he knows what he is doing and not to worry. When I returned he had taken the leg off at the knee joint! What can we do, the poor little thing has now being through more trauma in her short lifetime than most people see in a lifetime. After 2 weeks Lone and I took out the stitches (with the help of Dori) and she started her rehabilitation, again!
Dori is now completely healed physically, although she still needs the leg to be amputated properly before she develops long term mobility problems. At least now she is pain free; it is one year today (09 Jan 10) since she ventured onto the transformer box! With the help of Louise we hope to get Dori into Denmark with Lone; so Dori can start her new life with Lone and her other rescue cat from a Mine Action mission in Angola. Lone promises not to work abroad again as there are too many cats that need to be saved!”
Dori’s owners, Andrew and Lone are desperate to get this little girl home. Both of them work for the Danish Demining Group and will be leaving Iraq soon so we are aiming to try and get her out before the end of March. For anyone wishing to know more about the humanitarian efforts of the group please visit DDG
This is Winston, an adorable puppy that has recently been adopted by the Royal Navy in Um Qasr. Here is his story in his owners own words…
”Little Winston was found in Umm Qasr camp hiding by the bins, shivering and whimpering. He was taken in and washed up and emerged a very much cleaner little pup! He was alone by the bins, however outside the wall was a litter of puppies which are believed to have been drowned or shot. Now however he enjoys playing with everyone, sleeping and eating proper food. Initially he would shake because he was not used to people and so affectionately earnt the nickname ‘Shivers’. He has however been named Winston after Churchill because he is such a brave little fella”
We have agreed to help Winstons owners get him back to the UK in Feb/March next year so now the mission is on to raise the funding needed to do this. Winston is particularly special because he comes not so long after the huge task of Rescuing Sandbag and the Gang from the same place and he too is being raised by serving members of both the UK and US Military. Please help us to get him home for these brave members of our military by donating.
Baby Boy Winston
Do you think they will notice me chewing their kit?
Meet Taji. Taji’s owner found me through a friend that had taken T-Bird back to the States. Taji is an adorable little fella and is scheduled to leave Iraq for his new forever home in Dec 09.
On 27 Dec 09 we received the sad news that Taji had passed away at the kennels he was being cared for at in Amman. Taji had shown no signs of illness and was eating and playful right to the end. We are all extremely upset about what has happened, but we must take comfort in the fact that although he had a short life, Taji had a life that was full of love, food and play, which is something most of the animals in these places will never experience even for a minute.
Taji’s owner did a great job raising him with the limited resources available in Iraq and our deepest sympathies go out to him and his family.
This is Trouble. Trouble’s story is pretty much the same as most of the animals on BCR. She found her way into the affections of her owner and now her owner wants to take her home to the States. Trouble is scheduled to leave Iraq and go to a new happy forever home in Dec 09.
This is Lolly. Her owner has contacted me this week, she will be leaving Iraq mid Dec and wants to try and find Lolly a new home. Unfortunately, rehoming these animals in Iraq is virtually impossible so Lolly is facing an uncertain future right now. Below is her story in her owners own words:
“I have a dog called Lolly, who we adopted from Camp Loyalty when it was closing. Sadly, I am going to be leaving Iraq in December, and I would love her to go to a good home, preferably still within Iraq.
When we got Lolly, she was quite timid, having been beated and kicked by the guards (we think) at Camp Loyalty. She was terrified of everything, and would pee in fear when she met anyone new. She would also immediately go into submission and lay on the floor, even when you just went to stroke her.
However, we have given her lots of love and attention, and although she is still timid, she is much better now. Quite playful and fun, and she is a good guard dog to me when I am here alone, barking at anyone she does not recognise coming into the house. She is nice and kind as well though, but looks after me.
We think she is about 11 months old. She looks to be Retriever cross, though she is Iraqi mongrel, so who knows? She is house trained (although she occasionally still pees a tiny bit if she feels scared) and walks on the lead, is quiet to bath, has learnt sit, and we are working on stay etc. She is a lovely sweet dog. Her only fault is that she thinks she is a mole, and likes to dig holes in the garden.
I am very sorry to have her go, but I don’t think she would cope with the quarantine in the UK, or with travelling far, so I would like her to be re-homed in Iraq if possible.”
Because of Lollys nervous disposition we are currently looking at sending her to Kuwait to be fostered until a new home can be found for her in the US, we really do not want to put her through quarantine in the UK unless we have no other option. Please help us to get Lolly out of here by donating and also contacting us if you think you may be in a position to offer Lolly a home in the US.
This is Charlie. Charlie’s owner works about 40km outside of Baghdad and he came to me recently when his boss found out about Charlie and told him he was contravening General Order Number 1 and that he must get rid of him. So the last few days have been spent finding Charlie a safe place whilst we make the arrangements to send him to the US.
On 08 Oct 09 Charlie arrived in Baghdad and is now at a safe house where he will be cared for until we send him to the States in Dec or Jan.
Charlie has now settled really well in his new home in the States. He is fitting right in with his new family and having the time of his life. Below are some pictures of Charlie in his new forever home.
Squeaky and Little Guys owners came to me in July 09. They were moving to new jobs in Africa and had already sorted out an airline to fly the cats to Amman but they needed some assistance with paperwork and someone to actually put them on the flight as they were not going to be able to travel with them. It all sounded very simple, but as per usual the best laid plans don’t always work!
Literally at the last minute, the airline said they could not take the cats, so a search was on to find someone who could take them on a different airline. Their owners did find someone in time and on 18 Oct 09 the cats were delivered to me and on 19 Oct 09 I dropped the cats at the airport with the escort and Squeaky and Little Guy embarked on their long journey to Africa where they have now settled and are happy in their new home.
Meet Royal, she is around 5 years old and has been living on base with British Troops in Basrah all of her life. Royal now faces an uncertain future as the Brits have left Basrah and the US Troops that took her on have been told they cannot keep her. Now the battle against the clock is on to try and get her out with Sandbag, Dirtbag and Hesco before it is too late.
Royal is used to living a comfortable life in an air conditioned room on a comfortable bed and being fed only the best meals! To throw her onto the streets of Iraq now would almost certainly result in her death, whether it be from the fact that she loves people and does not know who to avoid or whether the wild pack dogs of Iraq got her.
Some pictures below of Royal enjoying her life as a lady of leisure.
I first heard about Sandbag and Hesco, the dog and cat adopted by British Forces serving in Iraq in April 2009. At this time I tried to contact the unit that were caring for them without success. In early Aug 09 my mother contacted me to tell me about the story of Sandbag the dog that was in the British Press. Emma Simpson of SWHP had launched an appeal to try and get Sandbag and Hesco the cat back to the UK. I knew that there was no way Emma would manage this without having someone in Iraq to co-ordinate so I sent an email to Blue Cross who were accepting the donations for this cause and they in turn got me in touch with Emma. This was the start of a 6 week roller coaster ride! First of all we had to establish where Sandbag and Hesco were and if they were still alive. A serving American soldier, Jeff Avis, had contacted me when he saw the appeal and he gave me details of Tony Bullard who was working as a civilian contractor on the Port of Um Qasr. The US Troops who had been looking after Sandbag and Hesco had actually left some weeks before and had to leave Sandbag and Hesco behind so in effect they were on the streets. Tony had done his best over the weeks to try and give them food and keep them safe but with Iraqi Army due to move into the port it was becoming critical to get them out before they arrived. Upon getting in touch with Tony I found out that there was actually another dog, Dirtbag, who was Sandbags son that we needed to rescue as well.
Dirtbag 'Lovin it'
So, planning was started on how to get them up to Baghdad and to the safe house I had arranged. Whilst all this was happening support was growing on the Facebook page that had been set up for these animals and through this I was contacted by a US Naval Commander about a dog called Royal. Royal had originally been looked after by the Royal Navy and Royal Marines but had again been left under the care of the US Troops when the Brits had left and they US Troops needed to get her out as under military rules they are not allowed to keep pets. So now we had gone from 1 dog and 1 cat to 3 dogs and a cat! On 20 Aug 09 a security team deployed to Um Qasr to collect all 4 animals and bring them to Baghdad to a safe location where they would be cared for until they left at the end of September. Of course this did not go to plan and the dogs managed to escape from the kennels and the cat also managed to escape so several hours were spent chasing them around the port.
Sadly, Hesco could not be caught and the team had to leave without her. All was not lost though, Tony Bullard managed to get Hesco back and she spent the next couple of weeks living in his trailer until I was able to fly to Basrah to collect her on 01 Sept. This again was not without its problems as a few days before I flew down there, Hesco managed to give birth to a single kitten. Sadly, Hesco is not the best mum in the world and the kitten died on 3rd Sept.
Once all the animals were safe in Baghdad I could relax for a while or so I thought! As usual this was not the case and things went bad almost straight away. I was told my contract at work was ending so I needed to find work quickly. Work in Iraq is getting hard to find now so at the end of Aug 09 I moved out of my work accommodation and out to the villa in the red zone where the dogs and cat were being cared for. I figured I could look after the animals and look for work at the same time. So the beginning of several weeks of cleaning up after 9 dogs and a cat (we were also caring for 6 dogs belonging to US soldiers on behalf of SPCA) started. All this time I was in constant contact with Emma Simpson so we could try and arrange everything. I had also been in touch with Karen Orobey of Pet Passage in Kuwait and Ayeshah from Animal Friends Kuwait. Karen was willing to offer her expertise and time and Ayeshah had offered the use of the shelter in Kuwait for the animals whilst we were in transit.
Louise & Sandbag
Again, things don’t always runs smoothly! I had managed to arrange a flight with BA whilst I was still in Iraq so the plan was that Karen and her husband Alex would meet us from the flight when we arrived and take us over to BA for crate inspections then on to the animal shelter where the dogs and cat would rest overnight. All very simple you would like to think, however this is where it went wrong! BA refused to accept the travel crates I had so the following day Karen ended up having to go to the Ministry to sort out export papers and then meet me at the hardware store to try and get bigger crates. We managed to find 2 bigger crates and we spoke to BA who were then insisting on seeing the dogs in the crates before we flew. This was not possible and we were running against time on this as we also had to get customs clearance so there was no way we were going to be able to get the dogs and get them to the cargo area for inspection in time for us to clear customs.
So, next door to KLM we went and Karen managed to sort out a confirmed flight for the animals with KLM. In, the meantime, Alex had been at home attaching the metal reinforcements I had purchased for the dog crates (Sandbag and Dirtbag had already destroyed 2 crates so the new ones needed something extra). So, finally after a whole day of running around we had the flight sorted and the crates were sorted and I only needed to get my flight sorted! Due to the short notice this was a problem so in the end Karen very kindly agreed to ensure the animals got on the KLM flight on 01 Oct if I went ahead with my original BA flight on 30 Sept.
Late on 30 Sept 09 Karen and Alex got the animals from the shelter and went and checked them on for the KLM flight to Amsterdam. This all went according to plan and the animals arrived safely in Amsterdam at around 0545 on 01 Oct. At approx 0930 on 01 Oct I received a call from Karen informing me that KLM were refusing to release the animals to the onward flight to the UK! Nothing ever goes to plan! So, several phone calls later we finally managed to get them released and the animals all came to the UK late in the afternoon on 01 Oct. They were transported to Precious Pets quarantine facility where they will remain for the next 6 months.
Without the help of Karen, Alex and Ayeshah it would have been almost impossible for me to do all the things that had to be sorted in Kuwait. All of these people are extremely busy with their jobs etc but they still all volunteered their time and resources so we could complete this mission and get these animals home. Please take the time to check the websites of Pet Passage and Animal Friends League Kuwait.
Below are some pictures and video footage of the dogs and cat in quarantine in the UK.
Mama found her owner, Erin, on Halloween 2008. Erin already had one cat so was determined to ignore this one. This was difficult to say the lease because Mama was extremely vocal. Erin managed to stay away for about a month and then she went home for a holiday. Upon her return Mama was still around and had earned herself the nickname ‘The Screamin Demon’ as she howled all day and night. On top of this Mama was now pregnant and Erin finally gave in and started to care for her and before long Mama was reporting 3 times a day for food. Mama had her kittens under a generator but they were around 6 weeks old by the time Erin actually got to see them and saw there were 3 of them which were promptly named Sumo, Samurai and Sumo.
Mama, Sumo, Sushi and Samurai
In May 2009 Erin managed to find an American vet who would be in the area for a few days and arrangements were made for Mama to be vaccinated and spayed. However, the night before the operation was due to take place Mama was acting strangely and later in the evening she started to produce kittens! Erin had not know she was pregnant again and had just assumed Mama was fat because she was a well fed and looked after cat. So, at this stage Mama could not be speyed or vaccinated, although her other litter were now old enough and they were done.
Erin’s Line Manager agreed that she could keep all 10 of the cats she was now looking after on the proviso that something was done about Mama as she could not be allowed to keep having kittens. At this stage Erin decided to send Mama back to the States and on 03 August 2009 Mama started her journey home. She arrived in the States safe and well and is now on the way to a happy life with Erin’s family.
Spike and Freckles are next in line to go to the States in September 2009 and Erin has plans to send more of them back in October 2009.
T-Bone, Spike, Fozzy Bear, Amelia, & Freckles
Spike, Amelia & Freckles
T-Bone, Spike, Fozzy Bear, Amelia & Freckles all made it safely out of Baghdad in September and are now settling in their new forever homes. Spike, Amelia (Milly) and Freckles now live in NY and T-Bone and Fozzy Bear were re homed in Jordan.
Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil, See No Evil
RIP Mr Bigz
Sadly, the father of all these kittens was killed by a car this week in Baghdad. His name was Mr Bigz and although he didn’t live to a great old age he had a good life.
Rosco, Shivers and Isis were the kittens of a cat called Mommy Cat. I was asked by Operation Baghdad Pup at same time as I took Whiskers and her kittens to Kuwait if I could also take Mommy Cat and her 3 kittens. Obviously, I immediately agreed to do this so along with Whiskers and Co, Rosco, Shivers and Isis were all taken to Kuwait and from there travelled back to the States where a campaign was run by a local animal organisation to find them loving new homes.
Rosco and Shivers have now been renamed as Colonel & Sgt Major Mustard.
Mish Mish/Yeti’s owner, Suzanne was referred to me by a mutual friend in Erbil. She had found Mish Mish at around 2 weeks of age when his mother abandoned him. Suzanne did try to get the mother to take him back but with no success so Mish Mish/Yeti ended up being hand raised by Suzanne.
When Suzanne was getting ready to go home she contacted me asking for advice on how to get Mish Mish/Yeti out and via email I was able to advise her on the exact procedure she needed to follow and Mish Mish/Yeti flew back to the States early July 2009.
You may wonder why I call him Mish Mish/Yeti?? Well, Suzanne could not decide which name she liked so he ended up with both! He has had a clean bill of health from the vet in the States and following a TV Appeal by a local TV station he has now been re-homed with a permanent family.
T-Bird’s owner, Tracy, came to me when she came across a kitten just a few weeks old that she wanted to rescue. She had witnessed the cruelty that can go on in Iraq not just from the local population but also from members of the expat community.
T-Bird was delivered to Tracy in a Pringles container, this should give you an idea of how small she was and she was full of worms. We only had about a month to fatten this little lady up and get her fit for the flight. Fortunately the kitten was strong enough to deal with the wormers and she grew rapidly and finally departed Iraq early in July 2009. She flew as hand luggage in the passenger cabin with her owner and behaved impeccably all the way back to the States.
She is now living with Tracy and her family and lots of other cats and is getting bigger daily. She has had a visit to the vet and has been confirmed as healthy.
At this time I do not have any pictures of T Bird but as soon as I do will post them.
This is Bandit! After I brought Tigger home I absolutely swore there would be no more! That, of course didn’t last very long and within weeks I had found Bandit.
I did try hard at first not to have anything to do with Bandit, he was being cared for by the guard force at my place of employment. After a few weeks I decided to intervene as Bandit was not getting the proper food and care he required although the guards were doing the best they would with the resources they had. Bandit promptly moved into my trailer and the decision to take him back to the UK was made. I was originally looking to send him to the UK in January 2009 but whilst I was on leave in October 2008 my employer decided they did not like the fact that I had adopted Bandit and sent me an email to fire me! I subsequently had to make my way back to Baghdad without assistance from an employer in order that I could get Bandit and get him to safety. Early November 2008 I flew into Baghdad to collect Bandit and a few days after this he flew to the UK and was taken straight into quarantine.
The plan for Bandit was that I would find him a new family as I could take no other animals in my already overcrowded house. This was looking precarious towards the end of his time in quarantine and it was only as a result of a friends advertising on the intranet at work and an appeal by the Express & Star that Bandit found a new family just a few weeks before he was due for release.
Bandit has now settled very well with his new mom and dad. He is good with other dogs and adores people.
Gabriel, Gabe for short appeared just a few weeks after Zeus did. One of the teams had been out on a mission and found this gorgeous bundle of fluff and decided to bring him back. Upon getting him back he was showered to clean him up after being sick on the journey and fed and left to rest. At first I was adamant I did not want another dog so he stayed with the guys that had brought him in the first place. I finally caved in after bringing him over to play with Zeus a few times and he ended up staying with us. Gabe came home in November 2007 along with Zeus. He did his 6 months inside and is now happy at home with Zeus and my 2 english dogs, Trixie and Jess.
Gabe has never shown much emotion or been a very loving dog but he gets better every day and now loves to be cuddled. He has a serious attitude on him and is very wilful and only does something when he wants to and not when is told to! He also loves to bark at fresh air. This problem was so bad I purchased a collar that sprayed citronella every time he barked but Gabe being Gabe decided he liked it and now will actually bark just so he gets his fix of citronella!!
Gabe is also very accident prone. Just before Christmas 2008 he was playing around and hurt his shoulder, the end result was a trip to the vet to get it popped back into place. A week or so after this he was out running and stepped on a piece of glass resulting in 3 stitches and a huge vet bill!
Zeus found me in November 2007 just a few weeks before Gabe arrived. Zeus had followed someone into the office one morning and he had got himself comfy and was not planning on leaving!! Within a few days of being there everyone adored him and he was the perfect pet to have around.
Zeus is the most loving dog ever, he lives for making humans happy and is constantly seeking approval. He does bark but his bark is worse than his bite and he actually is terrified of almost everything!
Whiskers and her kittens were adopted by a serving US Soldier in Northern Iraq. Miracles had to be performed to get Whiskers and her babies out safely before KBR vector control got them. This involved having to make arrangements for a safe house in Baghdad for a few weeks until they could be flown out as well as sorting out all of the vets paperwork that was needed to take them out.
Once again, working alongside Operation Baghdad Pup Whiskers and her kittens were flown out of Iraq at the end of May 2009 and are now with their new families in the States.
This was one of the biggest appeals Baghdad Cat Rescue has dealt with to date and approx $2000 in donations was raised.
Miss Kitty’s owner contacted me back in March 2009. He was a serving US Soldier based in Northern Iraq and he had adopted Miss Kitty. His time was drawing near to when he was due to leave and he contacted me for advice on how to get Miss Kitty out. I offered advice and working alongside Operation Baghdad Pup, Miss Kitty made it safely back to the US at the end of March 2009. She is now happy and settled with her new family in the USA.