Thousands push to bring puppy home from Iraq

October 14, 2008 5:31:52 AM PDT
More than 10,000 people have signed an online petition urging the Army to let an Iraqi puppy come home with a Minnesota soldier. She fears that "Ratchet" could be killed if left behind.

Sgt. Gwen Beberg of Minneapolis is scheduled to return to the U.S. next month.

Ratchet's defenders are ratcheting up their efforts to save him. The program coordinator for Operation Baghdad Pups, which is run by Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals International, has traveled to the Middle East to try to get the puppy to the U.S.

And Beberg's congressman, Democrat Keith Ellison, is urging the Army to review the case.

Beberg and another soldier rescued the puppy from a burning pile of trash in May. Defense Department rules prohibit soldiers in the U.S. Central Command from adopting pets, but exceptions have been made.