No working US military dogs left behind in Afghanistan, Pentagon confirms
There had been fears that many service dogs had been left behind by the Pentagon in the hasty evacuation of Afghanistan
No military working dogs were left in Afghanistan following the American withdrawal from the country, the Pentagon has confirmed.
Photos had been shared online claiming to show dogs in cages in an aircraft hangar at Hamid Karzai International Airport, leading some to think that American forces had left their canine companions behind.
UPDATE: We are securing PPR papers for extract from Afghanistan for the people that can't get on Kabul Airfield & remaining funding. The 51 working dogs are being fed & watered. Thank you for all your generosity through this! Please keep praying!https://t.co/3vaYMb4bWN pic.twitter.com/tvMIHT184K
— Veteran Sheepdogs of America (@VetSheepdogsUS) August 30, 2021
Even Donald Trump's son was in an uproar about the supposed abandonment of dogs that had worked alongside the US military.
The Biden administration didn’t just abandon Americans in Afghanistan. They even abandoned hard-working service dogs!!! WTF
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) August 31, 2021
But it turns out that the dogs in the picture were not working with the military, and in fact belonged to Kabul Small Animal Rescue, a veterinary clinic and non-profit organisation that has been helping animals for over a year.
In a tweet, assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, John Kirby, wrote: "To correct erroneous reports, the U.S. Military did not leave any dogs in cages at Hamid Karzai International Airport, including the reported military working dogs.
"Photos circulating online were animals under the care of the Kabul Small Animal Rescue, not dogs under our care."
To correct erroneous reports, the U.S. Military did not leave any dogs in cages at Hamid Karzai International Airport, including the reported military working dogs. Photos circulating online were animals under the care of the Kabul Small Animal Rescue, not dogs under our care.
— John Kirby (@PentagonPresSec) August 31, 2021
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Defense Department stated in an email to the Military Times that the "government made it a priority to ensure its working dogs returned home," explaining that the military invest "hundreds of thousands of dollars" into the dogs so "wouldn't leave them behind."
The Department of Defense told USA Today that it did not leave any dogs in cages at Hamid Karzai International Airport, and that it went to great lengths to support Kabul Small Animal Rescue.