Pets saved from war zones wait for soldiers in Newark

Two dozen dogs and a pair of cats in a temporary shelter at Newark Liberty International Airport are anxiously awaiting the return of their owners from tours of duty.

The animals were airlifted out of war torn regions after forming special bonds with American soldiers stationed there. Despite military rules forbidding such bonds, the animals each helped their owners deal with the hardships of war.

The animals were brought to the states in coordination with Operation Baghdad Pups, a program run by the SPCA. The program helps provide transport, vaccinations and medical examinations necessary to get them out of Iraq and Afghanistan and into the homes of their soldier comrades.

Melissa Moore just received the dog belonging to her daughter, who is stationed in Iraq. The dog, named Iraqi, made life easier for both Spc. Alicia Leitheiser and her family.

"That was her lifesaver, and I heard less tears with her on the phone, and it was great," says Moore. "And I was glad - glad that she had somebody over there that could give her hugs and kisses that her mom couldn't give her."

For more on Operation Baghdad Pups, go to channel 612 on your iO digital cable box and select iO Extra.

Baghdad Pups

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