News & Politics

[UPDATED] Pentagon Respond to Reports of Dogs Left Behind in Afghanistan

AP Photo/Rahmat Gul

Update 2:19 p.m.: The Pentagon denies leaving caged service dogs behind in Afghanistan.

“The U.S. priority mission was the evacuation of U.S. citizens, SIV, and vulnerable Afghans. However, to correct erroneous reports, the U.S. military did not leave any dogs in cages at Hamid Karzai International Airport, to include the reported ‘military working dogs,'” a Defense Department spokesman said in a statement to the Washington Examiner. “Photos circulating online were animals under the care of the Kabul Small Animal Rescue, not dogs under the care of the U.S. military. Despite an ongoing complicated and dangerous retrograde mission, U.S. forces went to great lengths to assist the Kabul Small Animal Rescue as much as possible.”

Original story:

The Biden administration is getting slammed by an animal rights group after military contract service dogs were allegedly “left to die at the hands of American enemies in Kabul, Afghanistan” as the U.S. military rushed to get out of the country before the deadline.

“I am devastated by reports that the American government is pulling out of Kabul and leaving behind brave U.S. military contract working dogs to be tortured and killed at the hand of our enemies,” Dr. Robin R. Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane, said in a statement. “These brave dogs do the same dangerous, lifesaving work as our military working dogs, and deserved a far better fate than the one to which they have been condemned.”

“This senseless fate is made all the more tragic, as American Humane stands ready to not only help transport these contract K-9 soldiers to U.S. soil but also to provide for their lifetime medical care,” Ganzert continued.

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Ganzert noted that American Humane has had a relationship with the military for over a hundred years to rescue military animals. “In fact, our famed rescue program began on the bloody battlefields of WWI Europe, at the request of the U.S. Secretary of War,” she said. “Since that time, American Humane served as a pioneer in the development of animal therapy for returning veterans, and today brings home retired military working dogs and pairs veterans with life-saving service dogs.”

Ganzert added that “it sickens us to sit idly by and watch these brave dogs who valiantly served our country be put to death or worse.”

In the wake of the U.S. special forces raid that killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in 2019, President Trump was mocked for mistakenly referring to the dog that was injured in the raid, Conan, as a male when the dog was, in fact, a female. Trump was also widely criticized for not having a pet dog in the White House, even after he was advised to get one for the good optics.

What’s worse, not having a pet dog for show, or leaving who knows how many dogs behind for enemies to potentially torture and/or kill?

Will this tragic disregard for the welfare of dogs that assisted our military get the same coverage as Trump’s “misgendering” Conan?

To prevent such a tragedy from happening again, American Humane is calling on Congress to classify contract working dogs on the same level as military working dogs. “Failure to do anything less, is a failure of humanity and a condemnation of us all.”