National

Mar 29, 2012 7:45 PM

Life-saving dogs looking for homes

(NBC) - They've saved countless lives in Iraq, and now five landmine detection dogs are back in the U.S. ready to start retirement.

Just two weeks ago the dogs were sniffing out landmines in Iraq, now they are in Washington, D.C. looking for a new home.

These mine detection dogs are provided to Iraq and other conflict torn countries through an organization called the Marshall Legacy institute.

"We provide the dogs to sniff out landmines so that it's safe for the children to play, for people to work, for animals to live and for communities to grow," said Perry Baltimore of Marshall Legacy Institute.

These dogs started their training in Texas as puppies, and the Marshall Legacy Institute then took them to Iraq and trained local handlers who work for various non-governmental agencies.

They are among some 170 dogs that have been trained and deployed by the institute.

Typically, handlers bond with their dogs and adopt them upon retirement, but that's not possible for Iraqi dog handlers.

The SPCA transported these five shepherds back to the United States, and is now working to find them adoptive homes.

They already beginning to explore their new life frolicking in the grass, something they've probably never saw in Iraqi.

The dogs are already making new friends, accepting plenty of head scratches and handing out some hand-licks themselves.

The SPCA international specializes in assisting animals in areas of conflict and disaster.

You can learn more about adopting these animals on their website:

www.spcai.org

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