Executing Dogs in Baghdad — 2,400 Per Day
Baghdad is a hell hole for dogs:
Amid its struggles with Sunni jihadists, Shiite radicals, and Kurdish separatists, the Iraqi government is training its sights on a new enemy: dogs. According to the UK’s Daily Mail, Iraq is spending 35 million dinars—about $30,000—to send 20 shotgun-wielding squads out to hunt down the capital’s strays. Their goal: Killing one million canines. So far, they’ve scratched 42,000, and they’re averaging 2,400 a day. “We could consider this the biggest campaign of dog execution ever,” Baghdad’s chief veterinarian, Mohammed al-Hilly, told the newspaper.
But there’s a bright side:
With help from animal lovers like the Baghdad Cat Lady and Marine Maj. Brian Dennis and Nubs, hundreds of service members and contractors in Iraq have adopted strays and brought them home. “These men and women are trained to be tough, but when you’ve seen some of what they’ve seen, a lot of that adds up,” says Terri Crisp, who coordinates Operation Baghdad Pups for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals International (SPCAI). “You can’t share a lot of it with your buddies, if they’re going through the same emotions. You can’t cry, you can’t hug. But you can do all that with a dog.” She assists soldiers who want to bring their adopted pets home with them. It’s a costly and dangerous process, requiring Crisp and her staff to fly with a security detail in and out of Baghdad or Erbil with the animals. So far, the effort has retrieved 265 animals—42 cats and 223 dogs—for families stateside.
Actually, all of Iraq sounds like a hell hole, for people and for dogs.