by Michael dEstries
Categories: Animals.

baghdadpupsEarlier this year, we brought you the heartwarming story of an adopted Iraqi dog who escaped certain death and was reunited with her soldier savior in the States. The happy ending was made possible thanks to the incredible rescue organization Operation Baghdad Pups — which provides medical attention, clearance and transport for the animals U.S. soldiers have come to love during deployment in the Middle East.

MSNBC recently ran an article on another adopted Iraqi pup — but unfortunately the man who adopted her, 60-year-old Maj. Steven Hutchison, was killed in combat on May 10th. Thanks to his actions however, Operation Baghdad Pups is making sure that Laia gets a home with friends of the Major back in the states. From the article,

Hutchison’s unit found Laia at just 1 month old in Basra. The local vet said he would have to euthanize the dog unless they adopted her as a mascot. As policy, soldiers are not supposed to adopt strays, and Hutchison defied orders to get rid of the dog, even moving her from base to base, his friend, Sgt. Andrew Hunt, told the SPCA. “He ignored this request several times up until it began to move toward punishment,” Sgt. Hunt said. “See, you couldn’t ever tell the Major he couldn’t do something, he [was] a stubborn old goat set in his ways. It was an endearing quality we loved about him.”

“Whenever Laia was around, his demeanor and personality changed 1000 percent,” Hunt told the SPCA. “He was never without a smile, he was so much happier in life, it was amazing.”

I know this isn’t a story about a celebrity or anything green — but it’s wonderful sometimes to pause and admire the actions of others; even simple things like saving the life of a dog. Truly, these people are the real role models for the rest of us.

You can continue reading the rest of Laia’s story here — or learn more about Operation Baghdad Pups here.

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

View all posts by Michael dEstries →
  • erin

    Thank you for this beautiful story Michael. Sometimes they’re more moving than the celeb green news- in this case for sure.

    Excellent ;)


  • Stephanie

    Aww, that’s a nice story. I saw starving dogs and cats all over Jamacia when I went there and no one was doing anything about it. I’m guessing it’s like that all over the developing world. But I don’t quite understand how these soldiers can be so compassionate towards the dogs but still be pro-war, not pacifists. Human rights, not just animal rights, are a priority. (Although I believe both should be given equal consideration.)

  • dholmas

    I believe in no-kill shelters where we were adopted by our Maine Coon Cat. Giving them a second chance and not using a breeding mill that charges thousands. Kitty is competely spoiled with an outdoor shelter, to keep him away from all of the animals that could eat him. I donate regularly to the shelter with food, litter and plenty of bleach to keep it clean. Makes me smile when I go to visit and see it so clean and neat. Would like to take all the cats, sorry not a real dog lover bitten a couple of times, home with me. I would like to be reincarnated as a cat with a mother like me.