American Humane publicly denounced the Biden Administration after reports of service dogs left in Kabul broke over the weekend.
“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, the nonprofit organization’s CEO and President, sadin 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,” she said. “In order to prevent this tragedy from occurring, these K-9’s should be loaded into whatever cargo space remains and flown to safety … Irrespective of the outcome, this gross oversight of justice must be stopped from happening again, as it did in Vietnam too. To that end, we call on Congress to take action 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.”
Ganzert also said her organization is ready to assist with transport and to provide for the dogs’ “lifetime medical care.”
Reports to us from #Kabul, including those from the military, made it clear that not only were contract working dogs denied access to cargo storage in the last flights out, but that the govt. also denied charter planes access to remove the dogs to safety. #NoPawsLeftBehind
— American Humane (@AmericanHumane) August 31, 2021
Over the weekend, a photo went viral online showing two rows of caged dogs amid scattered water bottles, allegedly abandoned at the Kabul airport.
Richard Grenell, who previously served as an ambassador to Germany under President Donald Trump, “called for the firing of White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Secretary of State Antony Blinken for the alleged abandonment,” per WCNC.
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) August 31, 2021
“I loathe Joe Biden,” wrote actor James Wood in a post sharing the same photo of the caged dogs.
And finally the petty cruelty and venal heartlessness of this wretched administration captured in one terrible photo.
Our helpless service dogs, caged and abandoned at the Kabul airport, left to starve to death.
I loathe Joe Biden. pic.twitter.com/M9yRHIorjI
— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) August 31, 2021
The Pentagon has denied that any service dogs were left in Afghanistan.
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.”
Kirby said the dogs were never under the U.S. military’s care but rather the Kabul Small Animal Rescue.
U.S. Army Lt. Col. Karen Roxberry, a spokesperson for the U.S. Central Command, said in an email to The New York Post that the military’s “priority mission was the evacuation of U.S. citizens, SIV and vulnerable Afghans.”
“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,” she said.
Veteran Sheepdogs of America, a nonprofit organization, has publicly committed to retrieving the dogs from Kabul.
Founder Joshua Holser hopes to rescue the working dogs by raising $1.67 million – the cost for a 737 plane out of Kabul, per TMZ.
In a tweet on Tuesday, the organization said “51 contracted military working dogs are safe & being cared for in their crates.”
This rescue of these 51 contract military dogs in Afghanistan is PERSONAL for our president @JoshuaHosler. He was assistant Platoon Leader & worked TWO contract military bomb dogs in Afghanistan in 2010, Tequila and Ava. #SemperFi pic.twitter.com/YLsVHEahkl
— Veteran Sheepdogs of America (@VetSheepdogsUS) September 1, 2021