Save Sandbag

How could you leave your best friend behind to face an uncertain, dangerous future? British soldiers of the Queen’s Royal Hussars are facing that very question as they prepare to leave the Iraqi port of Umm Qasr for the UK at the end of the month: What to do about Sandbag, the dog they adopted, who’s become their loyal guardian and friend?

Rumour has it that Sandbag the dog has survived being shot five times.

But the British soldiers in Iraq who have adopted him as a camp mascot fear he will not last long after they return to the UK at the end of this month.

They are worried he will be put down by local Iraqis or killed by other dogs when they leave.

Sandbag got his name for his golden coat and because he protects the men of B Squadron of the Queen’s Royal Hussars from stray dogs around their base at the southern port of Umm Qasr.

A true military dog, he loves helicopters and often follows the troops out on patrol.

He also bears scars from numerous scraps with other dogs and – according to base legend – several bullet wounds.

Sandbag’s had his shots (besides those bullets), but UK law requires several months quarantine for animals entering the country, and that costs the owner a few thousand pounds, money the soldiers don’t have. They might turn him over to the Americans who are going to take their place, but, come on, would you want to give this away to strangers?

There’s a petition on the Web to ask the UK government to reward their loyal soldiers (and loyal dog) by waiving the quarantine fees.

Sign it for Sandbag.

(hat tip: The Jawa Report)

(Cross-posted at Public Secrets, my hangout on the Web)

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