Life-Saving Army Dogs to be Put Down
Two army dogs which served with distinction in Afghanistan are to be put down. The dogs saved many lives but, according to the army, homes cannot be found for them. The story has attracted a great deal of publicity so the situation could yet change.
Belgian Shepherds Given Death Sentence
Belgian shepherds Kevin and Dazz smelled out IEDs in Afghanistan before they were recently retired. The dogs put their lives at risk to help Army personnel. News of the dogs’ fate has sparked outrage. One army handler commented: "We’ll do anything to save them." Another said that they felt it was a cruel way to treat the dogs.
Army chiefs have rules that both dogs cannot be rehomed safely and so they face lethal injections in the near future. Dog handlers have appealed to the Defence Animal Centre in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, in an attempt to save the lives of Kevin and Dazz.
Andy McNab Steps In
Meanwhile, Andy McNab, a former Special Air Sergeant, has launched a petition. His own life was saved during his military career when a dog sniffed out an IED. Mcnab was on patrol and walking third in a line of advancing servicemen when the dog detected the device.
"Dogs like Kevin, Dazz and Driver are an asset when they are serving but they even more of an asset when they are retired.
"We owe them every chance possible to be housed and not killed."
McNab’s petition also highlights the plight of a police dog called Driver who is facing a death sentence following his retirement.
Handlers Offer Homes
It has been reported that experienced handlers have come forward and volunteered to re-home the dogs but have been refused.
There is no fixed protocol for deciding the fate of military dogs. A decision is made by a senior officer and that is the end of the story – or is it? Enraged handlers are threatening to take the matter to Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson.
MP Asks for Explanation
Conservative MP Alan Duncan has contacted the Ministry of Defence for an explanation as the Defence Animal Centre where the dogs are located is his constituency. The dogs have been working with trainee handlers since returning home to provide them with a role that would delay their retirement. The MP had been contacted by a dog handler who served in Afghanistan whose dog was also due to be euthanised in 2014 but which was ultimately saved. The dog now lives a happy life with the dog handler he served with.
Sir Alan has taken up the fight for the dogs and has said that he feels a proper and fair assessment has not been made. He believes that service dogs deserve a happy life after they retire whilst understanding that they must be properly assessed in case they pose a threat to people. He feels that such a threat must be proven before the dogs are destroyed. Here, here!
What do you think about this sad story?