Soldier reunites with dog she rescued in Iraq

(Courtesy: WFTS/ABC Newsone)

TAMPA, Florida (WSYX/WTTE) -- A Florida soldier is finally reunited with a dog she rescued during her Iraqi deployment in 2017.

According to WFTS, U.S. Army Reserve Sgt. Tracy McKithern helped take care of an abused dog and her puppy after they were spotted near her base.

McKithern said both were starving and abused by locals, kicked and hit with rocks everyday.

As her one-year deployment was expected to end in January 2018, she didn't want to leave the puppy -- who she named Erby Kasima after the the largest city in Northern Iraq, Erbil, and Kasima, the Arabic name for "beauty and elegance." -- behind.

After getting in touch with a rescue group, she sent $1,000 to start the process of having her sent to the US. The other $2,500 needed came through donations from strangers.

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