We recently highlighted the plight of two brave and loyal army dogs which faced being put down because the army believed that they were unsuitable for re-homing. Belgian shepherds Kevin and Dazz had served in Afghanistan sniffing out IEDs and had doubtless helped to save the lives of many soldiers. But after working at a training facility in the UK for four years, they were condemned to death row despite experienced handlers having volunteered to re-home them.
News of the dogs’ fate sparked outrage. Former special forces soldier Any McNab started a petition which quickly gained 370,000 signatures. Foreign Office minister Sir Alan Duncan also expressed his outrage at the dog’s plight. The dogs had been working at Melton’s Defence Animal Centre which is in his constituency. He wrote to the ministry of defence calling for the dogs to be reprieved. He also tweeted that even his own dog Noodle was supporting the cause!
Golden Future for Brave Dogs
The efforts of those supporting Kevin and Dazz have finally born fruit! The outcry eventually caused Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson to visit to the dogs and he has now officially confirmed they have been reprieved! A police dog called Driver who was also due to be put down has also been saved.
“I’ve instructed my department these dogs are to be saved. We’re talking with charities and looking at a programme as to whether they can be re-housed with a handler in a more normal environment. We’re going to ensure they have a golden future. We’ll do everything we can to look after animals that form such an important part of the military family.”
Sir Alan Duncan said: “I’m absolutely thrilled that army hero dogs Kevin and Dazz have been saved. They can now enjoy a very happy and well-deserved retirement.”
Public Opinion Forces Change
It’s nice to know that public opinion can effect change and that common sense has prevailed. A national outcry and the intervention of senior politicians has worked wonders. Well done to the soldiers who spoke out to publicise the intended fate of the dogs. When animal lovers are mobilised into action there is no stopping them!