SPCA International (www.spcai.org) announces ‘Smoke’ will arrive today at New York’s JFK International Airport with SPCA International rescue expert Terri Crisp. As required by the USDA, Smoke will be held in quarantine stables near the airport for a brief period before being officially released. The Donkey will then be reunited with Ret. Marine Col. John Folsom.
“It has been a long journey and we are very grateful to all the people who helped us make this happen, so Smoke can be reunited with his Marine friends and serve an important therapy role helping veterans and their families.”
The SPCA International and its team of animal rights experts successfully worked with the Turkish Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs to allow Smoke passage out of Iraq through Turkey to arrive in New York City. SPCA International has been told that Smoke is the first animal to cross from Iraq into Turkey since the Iraq war began.
SPCA International, an entirely nonprofit organization, thanks the many donors and supporters who helped bring Smoke to the U.S. In 2008, the Iraqi Donkey was befriended by Ret. USMC Col John Folsom and his Marines at Camp Taqaddum, rescued from abandonment, brought to good health and soon became the unit’s mascot and friend.
After release from quarantine, Smoke will settle in Nebraska where the Donkey will live and help an organization founded by Ret. Marine Col. John Folsom, Wounded Warriors Family Support, as a rehabilitation therapy animal.
“We are so excited and thankful to have gained the approval needed to bring Smoke to his new loving home with John Folsom and the Wounded Warriors group,” says Stephanie Scott of SPCA International. “It has been a long journey and we are very grateful to all the people who helped us make this happen, so Smoke can be reunited with his Marine friends and serve an important therapy role helping veterans and their families.”
Folsom says he has not stopped thinking about his Donkey since he left Iraq and is looking forward to giving him the kind of life and home he deserves in Nebraska.
To support SPCA International’s work on behalf of U.S. troops and their animal friends, please donate at www.spcai.org. Daily updates on Smoke’s journey to America, are also available there.