It was a joyous reunion for six National Guard soldiers on Wednesday evening as huge smiles welcomed a 65- pound mixed breed dog named Sheba and her seven puppies to the Save-A-Pet Animal Shelter in Long Island after arriving at John F. Kennedy International Airport from Dubai.
The Guardians of Rescue, a nonprofit rescue organization from Smithtown, N.Y. partnered with Nowzad Dogs, who provide aid and assistance for dogs in Afghanistan, together helped to bring the dogs home.
According to CBS News, through the program of "Paws of War - No Buddy Left Behind," First Lt. Joseph La Penta of Staten Island and the other soldiers adopted Sheba while on duty. The dog would frequently accompany the men on patrol and chase away stray dogs who might present harm. In March, Sheba gave birth to seven puppies. Named the "Magnificent 7," Sheba was very weak, and so the soldiers took it upon themselves to help the mother dog feed her babies. At first the soldiers gave the dog part of their rations, but soon relatives were sending bags of dog food from home.
When the base in Afghanistan closed, the men were all heartbroken at having to leave the dogs behind.
Guardians of Rescue teamed up with Nowzad to bring the dogs home.
Costs were estimated to be $4,000 per dog which included some complicated air travel, quarantine, veterinarian fees, vaccinations, and health care.
The infectious smiles of the soldiers as the frisky pack of canine cuteness arriving in the United States made it all worthwhile. The six-month old pooches named Cadence, Rocky, Sarah, Jack, Buckeye, Breezy, and Harris will be going home with the soldiers.
Mama Sheba, resting comfortably like a soon to be spoiled American pooch, is recovering from an intestinal infection, but is adjusting well in her foster home.
It is too soon to tell if Sheba will eventually be trained to be a service dog for post-traumatic stress soldiers, but whatever her future holds, Sheba now has the privilege of being an American thanks to so many kind donors and humane supporters.
For more information about Nowzad Dogs and how you can help, please click here.
For more information about Guardians of Rescue, please click here.
Welcome to America beautiful dogs.
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