Bringing a pet away from a war zone is not an easy task and it is generally very expensive. Nowadays there are associations specializing in making it possible (e.g. Nowzad). These associations are concerned about retrieving animals, nursing them, re-training them if necessary, and arranging their transfer to new homes.
At the end of the Great War, most of the enlisted animals were abandoned to their fate. This was the case for dogs and cats, while survived cattle and equines were sold to slaughterhouses closer to the front lines.
British soldiers on the Western front acted in a different way. Many succeeded, with the help of associations such as the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Blue Cross Society, to save dogs, often even horses, and bring them to England.
A journey of mutual salvation
Soldiers paid about £ 2 and associations took care to recovering animals, nursing them, transporting them to the veterinary hospital in Boulogne (the only one authorized) after the quarantine period and arranging their transfer over the English Channel.
When the frightened and hungry animals made their appearance, a journey of mutual salvation began.
The soldiers, who decided to take care of them, regained a kind of normalcy, which helped them cope better with the stress of the battlefield. The benefits received from this experience extended far beyond the meal and shelter offered to their four-legged companions, so by doing their best to give them a better life, the soldiers sought to express their gratitude to them.
(Gli animali nella Grande Guerra, Animals in the Great War, 5 – Conclusione)
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