The State Department is to blame for failing to protect bomb sniffing dogs sent to Jordan and receive little to no care; some of the dogs have from neglect. Even worse, the department has continued to send dozens of dogs to partner countries completely aware of the poor conditions the dogs have had to endure.
According to CNN, at least ten dogs died while other dogs lived in “unhealthy conditions” while in Jordan from 2008 to 2016.
“While dogs in the [Explosive Detection Canines Program] are tools used to combat terrorism, they are also living creatures that deserve appropriate attention to their safety and well-being,” the inspector general wrote in a new report.
One veterinarian had recommended the program be cancelled after acknowledging how poorly the dogs were being handled. The department rejected the veterinarian’s recommendation stating the need for national security.
As dogs remain one of the most reliable sources for detecting explosives and deterring terrorism in Jordan, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) were in charge of sending dogs to ten other countries, however there were never any standards of care written nor any follow-up examinations for the care of the dogs. Thus, the countries where the dogs have been sent, have all encountered canine health problems with no records for proper care.
Parts of the distressing reports for the dogs included:
“Multiple dogs” appeared emaciated months after “supposed improvements” were reported, per the report, while many suffered from engorged ticks. Five veterinarians working with the program “expressed concern with the health and welfare of the canines in Jordan,” with two recommending on-the-ground oversight.”
The story of three of the dogs were included in the report. Zoe, a two-year-old Belgian Malinois died of heat stroke attributed to negligence of her trainer. Mencey, a three-year-old Malinois was infested with fleas and subsequently, even after being sent back to the United States, had to be humanely euthanized despite all available life saving treatment. Athena, a two-year-old Malinois was found in her kennel filled with dirt and feces. The emaciated dog was lucky – she was returned to the United States in 2018 and nursed back to health.
It has been recommended that Jordan not be sent anymore dogs until a satisfactory plan to effectively care for the dogs is in place, however the State Department rejected the plan, stating it would harm United States national security interests to counter terrorism. The counter terrorism department states they have a plan, but nothing has yet to be confirmed.
So much for our canine soldiers. Don’t they deserve better?
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