- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 31, 2021

The Pentagon is pushing back against reports that it abandoned dozens of military service dogs to the mercy of the Taliban during the U.S. evacuation of Afghanistan. 

A viral photograph purported to show dogs inside a cramped animal carrier in front of a decommissioned Blackhawk helicopter at Hamid Karzai International Airport prompted outrage around the world, including from the American Humane Society.

“It sickens us to sit idly by and watch these brave dogs who valiantly served our country be put to death or worse,” society President Robin R. Ganzert said in a statement. “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 provide for their lifetime medical care.”

Pentagon officials said the situation on the ground may have been a bit chaotic, but nobody in uniform abandoned any dogs.

“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,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby tweeted. 

He said the dogs in the photo were under the care of Kabul Small Animal Rescue (KSAR), an Afghanistan-based animal rights group trying to get as many of the animals out of the country as possible. 

The organization sent out a tweet asking people to stop messaging U.S. government officials about the plight of the dogs.

“We have an incredible team working hard right now and focusing where we need it,” KSAR tweeted. “There are a lot of things circulating right now that are true, false and/or outdated. It’s been a busy, stressful day.”

• Mike Glenn can be reached at mglenn@washingtontimes.com.

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