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  US soldiers adopting Iraqi strays
Updated 20 January 2004, 17.13
Stray dogs are being shipped to good homes in the US
Stray dogs on the war-ravaged streets of Baghdad have been winning the hearts of the US soldiers patrolling the city.

Dozens of servicemen have adopted the pooches, sending them home to their families from California to New York.

"Sixteen dogs have already been sent back and another 14 are due to go on Thursday," said a spokesman for Baghdad Zoo, which is looking after the pets.

There are hardly any animal welfare charities in Iraq, so the soldiers are doing a good job in rescuing the dogs.

And there's more good news for the pooches.

Iraq's first animal rights group is being launched this week which should mean a better future for the country's strays.

Fattened up

Meanwhile, the dogs waiting to be shipped off to the US are being fattened up with rice and mincemeat.

Many of the soldiers have already named their new pets - some of them have been called crazy things like Spotty and Ugly!

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