A skinny, very pregnant dog wandered onto the Forward Operating Base where the 1-133rd Iowa Army National Guard was quartered in eastern Afghanistan this past February. She was weak from lack of food and her fur was dark with blood from a rope embedded in the flesh of her neck. Under a hut in the Medic station she found some refuge from the bitter cold and there gave birth to seven puppies.
The military does not allow “pets”, but the medic who found her and the soldiers of the Iowa National Guard could not simply turn the mother and her family out into harsh weather to die. She was cleaned up, had the rope carefully removed from the wound on her neck, and given regular meals for the first time in her life. Aside from caring for and feeding the family, the Iowa soldiers gave them names, The puppies were called– Bravo, Charlie, Echo, Freedom, General, Liberty – The mother was named Delta. Together they became known as Delta and Company.
But the family was not truly safe.
Following regulations a lieutenant wanted all the dogs shot, but granted the medic 24 hours to remove them from base. With the help of Specialist Sheila Japczyk Schaffer, of the 133rd Infantry, a plea was posted on the Facebook page of Nowzad Dogs, a registered non-profit charity rescue for dogs in Afghanistan. The response was quick. By mid-March, mother and 6 pups found themselves delivered to the Nowzad shelter in northern Afghanistan while one puppy stayed with the medic who had discovered them.
The 1-133rd is coming home in July; some are already in the US! But they need help in order for the pups to make it to their soldiers’ waiting homes here in Cedar Rapids, Waterloo, Cedar Falls and Fairfield. To save these young dogs means so much to those who risked their lives for our country. A ‘chip-in’ has been set up http://nowzaddogs.chipin.com/delta-and-pups to help these soldiers bring their friends home. There are also pictures and information about the family posted on the chip-in site. The chip-in has collected enough for Delta to travel and she arrived in Eureka Springs AR, to the home of Spc Schaffer’s parents a few weeks ago. But her six puppies don’t yet have enough funds to join their soldiers here in Iowa. For now they remain at the Nowzad shelter in Afghanistan.
We want to do all we can to help our soldiers bring Delta & Company home to Iowa!
Additional information about Nowzad Dogs and Soldiers Animal Companion Fund, along with information on past and current rescues, can be found on the websites given above.
Spc. Schaffer’s mother volunteers for a pet thrift shop, where a co-worker wrote a story for the Lovely County Citizen which should be here
here is some basic info about SACFund and Nowzad:
Soldiers’ Animal Companions Fund is a Donor Advised Fund, administered by Charities Aid Foundation America (CAFAmerica), a US 501c(3) public charity that specializes in the responsible oversight of global giving. Also known as SAC Fund it was established in 2010 to raise tax-deductible United States donations for the British charity Nowzad Dogs, a registered non-profit charity (# 1119185) assisting with companion animal rescues from Afghanistan.
Through the SAC Fund we strive to help those animals who’ve meant so much to our troops. Actually their value for the morale and health of our soldiers cannot be underestimated. These animals have often provided immeasurable comfort to those serving in harsh and extremely difficult situations.
Address SACFund, 4616 25th Ave NE #608, Seattle, WA 98105 • 206-596-4483
Nowzad Dogs: established May 2007 Registered non-profit charity in the UK (number 1119185)
Their mission statement: 'To relieve the suffering of animals, predominantly stray and abandoned dogs, in need of care, attention and to provide and maintain rescue facilities for the care and treatment of such animals, especially the dogs of Afghanistan'.
Thank you for your consideration and for any help you may be able to provide to bring these puppies home.