Bring Military Mascots Home

One of the laws of nature is that big things generally move slower than small things. So, you know that by the time a big group like SPCA International gets involved with a “bring the dogs home from Iraq” campaign, it’s likely that a smaller grassroots group has already been doing it for a long time.

Well, Military Mascots appears to be that group. Bonnie Buckley of Massachusetts has been coordinating the effort to send care packages to troops fostering dogs in war zones and help them arrange to bring those dogs back to the U.S. on commercial airlines since June of 2003. Bonnie isn’t supporting the wholesale transport of all stray dogs to the US to be worked into our shelter system, instead she acts as a resource for servicemen who want to bring their adopted dogs home with them when they are deployed out of a war zone.

This is an impressive undertaking as it requires volunteers to meet the dogs at international customs, re-booking on domestic flights to the final city of destination, transportation from the airport to temporary foster homes while the troops make their way back home, and finally the dog being reunited with the soldier when they or their family are able to take the dog permanently. And that’s only after the dog lands on U.S. soil, the mission to bring these dogs home begins long before.

While her organization doesn’t have the polish (professionally shot video and website) of the SPCAI’s “No Buddy Left Behind” campaign, it also has no other reason for existence, and is all volunteer. Whereas the SPCAI has that tricky clause #3 where the money you donate just might be used for another SPCAI program, it looks like all of the funds sent to Military Mascots are spent directly on dogs in war zones. It also appears that MM is helping those who help themselves by facilitating and encouraging the servicemen and their families back home to raise the money for transport, so this isn’t just a blanket donation for dogs who have to be found homes.

The reason so many of the abandoned dogs in Iraq are Border Collies is because herding dogs are one of the few exceptions to Islam’s teachings against owning dogs. I’m following up this post with a list of some of the success stories of Border Collies that have been saved from the war zone through the Military Mascots program.

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About Christopher

Christopher Landauer is a fifth generation Colorado native and second generation Border Collie enthusiast. Border Collies have been the Landauer family dogs since the 1960s and Christopher got his first one as a toddler. He began his own modest breeding program with the purchase of Dublin and Celeste in 2006 and currently shares his home with their children Mercury and Gemma as well. His interest in genetics began in AP Chemistry and AP Biology and was honed at Stanford University.