Running for rabies awareness

Published on November 18, 2009
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The U.S. Army's 64th Medical Detachment, Veterinary Services, organized runs in Iraq during September to mark World Rabies Day, which fell Sept. 28.

The 64th Medical Detachment held events in eight locations across the country. Hill's Pet Nutrition sponsored the events, donating funds to provide shirts to all participants.

"We wanted to do something to increase awareness of the rabies threat in Iraq," said Staff Sgt. Arturo Balsa, a veterinary technician who was the primary coordinator of the runs. "Soldiers think it is OK to feed feral dogs and cats that hang out around their living quarters. This has led to many rabies exposures in the past."

In the photo above, Army personnel and working dogs participate in a run at Contingency Operating Base Adder in southern Iraq. More than 1,700 people and several working dogs participated in the runs.