Imagine the outrage if war heroes returning to the United States were locked up for months in cells with little water, food or human interaction. Yet that’s exactly what happened to many four-legged veterans who saved the lives of countless troops.
Some bomb-sniffing military working dogs were left in kennels for as long as 11 months, according to a new report by the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General (IG), an agency that provides independent oversight of the department’s programs and operations.
Some of the dogs were euthanized. Some, who had never been around children or other dogs, were adopted out with no screening of their new owners.
The IG investigation began in response to complaints from service members about the Army’s mistreatment of the bomb-sniffing dogs. In some cases, soldiers were compelled to go to the kennels themselves and rescue the dogs who’d saved their lives in Afghanistan by sniffing out improvised explosive devices (IEDs).