National Guard soldiers from New York were reunited Wednesday with a stray dog and her seven puppies who had become "part of the family" while they were stationed in Afghanistan. The dog, called Sheba by the soldiers, joined the patrol in January, and in March she had a litter of puppies. Sheba was terribly weakened by giving birth, but the soldiers nursed her back to health, even giving her their food rations. When it was time to return home, the men didn't want to abandon the dogs. "It really broke our hearts that we might have to leave them there," 1st Lt. Joseph LaPenta told the Associated Press.
Guardians of Rescue, a nonprofit which brings dogs home from war zones, and a Kabul-based group arranged to bring the dogs to the United States. "We won't turn our back on the servicemen, and we won't turn our back on the dogs," said Guardians of Rescue president Robert Misseri, who added that it costs about $4,000 for every dog rescued. The puppies will be adopted by the soldiers, and Sheba may be trained as a service dog to help recovering veterans. [Source]