Saturday, 8 August 2009

Sandbag: yet another PR disaster for the MoD

How can the MoD keep getting it so wrong?

I mean you couldn't make it up, could you?

A dog - man's best friend, beloved of middle England, a golden labrador even! - was adopted as a mascot by soldiers fighting in Iraq.

The loveable dog, called "Sandbag", had been living with British soldiers at their base in Um Qasa, near Basra, and was credited with bringing them good luck on patrols and with keeping away mauranding stray dogs.

One soldier said: 'He's very loyal to the troops - if you get mobbed by other dogs, he will literally fight every single one of them."

More than 6,000 people signed a petition on the Number 10 website calling for the dog to be given refuge in the UK.

And what did government say: "Leave it behind, let the Americans look after it".

You would have thought that someone in the MoD's PR department would have said: Hang on a minute, we could get ourselves some good publicity here - kind-hearted, caring, "soldier-centric". We could announce that: hey, we're good guys, we're going bring Sandbag home. But no. They didn't give it a thought.

There you go.

Anyway, a public appeal has now been launched to raise the cash to bring Sandbag the 'hero' dog to the UK and reunite him with his soldier friends.

The Mail: Sandbag saved! Animal charities unite to bring home soldiers' mascot left out in Iraq