Puppy Rescued From Baghdad Had Rabies

National alert follows dog's death; other pets on flight seized
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 3, 2008 1:46 PM CDT
Melissa Moore has adopted the dog that her daughter befriended in Iraq through the program Operation Baghdad Pups program.   (AP Photo/Mike Derer)
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(Newser) – Twenty-four animals flown to the US from Iraq have been taken back from their adoptive homes after the CDC learned a puppy on their flight had rabies, the New York Times reports. The dogs and cats, befriended by troops in Iraq, were vaccinated only days before being exposed to the fatal illness, sparking a national warning because of the possibility they could have spread the disease to humans.

After the animals' arrival in Newark in June, a black Lab became sick and had to be euthanized. The other pets had already reached their new homes around the country by the time rabies was confirmed; the CDC is now holding them in quarantine for 6 months. Thirteen humans have also been told to seek preventive treatment, but no one of any species has fallen ill.