SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) – A San Diego Marine was reunited Wednesday night with the dogs he befriended while serving in Iraq.
The dogs were set to be put down until SPCA International stepped in and rescued them.
The last time Marine Captain Kyle Watkins saw the Iraqi pups was four months ago while serving in Anbar.
Captain Watkins befriended Wendy, Hesco, Rooster and many other dogs who would roam the desert eating trash.
The dogs were never allowed inside the military compound, but they would provide a sense of home for the dog loving Marines.
“You have Marines to the left and right of you. They are great companions, but every now and then you need something comforting from home,” said Captain Watkins.
While Marines would look out, the dogs would also look out for them. “When people would walk around, they would alert us to that. It was comforting to know that you had a team on the outside of wire helping you out,” he said.
The SPCA International and Operation Baghdad Pups were able to coordinate the special deliver that landed Wednesday night at San Diego International Airport.
“The bond that we formed with these animals is just something you do not get buying a puppy off Craigslist,” said Captain Watkins.
Watkins said one of his family’s dog died last year and the two remaining dogs were left to watch over his two children.
“I am glad we could bring them back to the states and give them a good home, some good food, a warm place to sleep at night and give them some love,” he said.
Captain Watkins has been serving for eight years.
SPCA International took care of all the dogs’ medical care and clearance.
Rooster will stay at Captain Watkins’ until Sunday. After, Rooster will be reunited with another Marine at 29 Palms.