The American Humane Society has condemned the US government for apparently leaving behind a number of service animals after withdrawing from Kabul. Images on social media showed the dogs in cages and roaming around the airport.
“I am devastated by reports that the US government is withdrawing from Kabul and leaving behind brave US military indentured working dogs that will be tortured and killed by our enemies,” he added. American Humane President and CEO Robert Ganzert said in a statement Monday.
“These brave dogs do the same dangerous and life-saving work as our military working dogs and deserved a much better fate than they were sentenced to. “ Ganzert continued.
Images circulating on social media in recent days showed the dogs confined in cages at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul after their owners left the country. While the US military has come under fire for giving its own dogs seats on evacuation flights, these dogs are considered non-commissioned officers by the military and outnumber their handlers. Contract working dogs do not enjoy such a luxury.
Dogs are considered unclean by the Taliban, and Ganzert’s concerns about potential mistreatment have been supported by other animal activists in Afghanistan. Former British Navy Pen Farthing managed to evacuate 150 dogs and cats from his animal shelter in Kabul over the weekend, but told the Daily Mail on Monday that Taliban fighters stabbed one of his dogs while ‘he was going through a security checkpoint to the airport, and had shot him. two dogs he left with a friend.
The Pentagon insists it did not leave any dogs in cages, “Including reported working dogs”, spokesperson John Kirby noted Tuesday. Kirby claimed the dogs were in the care of Kabul Small Animal Rescue (KSAR), a local charity run by an American named Charlotte Maxwell Jones.
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KSAR and a number of other animal charities had tried to get a large group of rescue dogs aboard an evacuation flight, but were reportedly refused by the Pentagon and ordered by the military to release animals at the airport. Video footage of dogs straying on a trash-strewn tarmac appeared to confirm these claims.
However, a charity involved in the rescue operation, Veteran Sheepdogs of America, claims that although some rescue dogs have been released, they are still looking after more than 50 assistance dogs at the airport and collecting funds to transport the animals to Germany and to the United States. Other rescuers and journalists called the fundraising “defraud.”
UPDATE 1/3! 51 contracted military working dogs are safe and cared for in their cages. We had all the funds for the plane, but an animal rescue organization failed. We are therefore trying to cover their amount of $ 500,000 out of the $ 1.67 million.
– Veteran American Shepherd Dogs (@VetSheepdogsUS) August 31, 2021
The US evacuation mission ended shortly before midnight on Monday, marking the end of a 20-year war in Afghanistan and giving the Taliban back control of the country. Although more than 120,000 people had been airlifted in the previous two weeks, dogs were not the only ones left behind. ” Hundreds “ Americans remain stranded in Kabul, U.S. Central Command chief General Frank McKenzie told reporters, adding that the “diplomatic mission” to extract them would continue.
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