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Anger grows after security firm kills 24 of its bomb-sniffing dogs because of lost contract

Ottawa Citizen logo Ottawa Citizen 29/06/2016 David Pugliese, Ottawa Citizen

A Kuwaiti security contractor, with partners in the U.S., is facing growing anger after it is alleged to have killed 24 of its own bomb-sniffing dogs when it lost a security contract with Kuwait National Petroleum.

A petition with 60,000 names on it (so far) is circulating, calling on the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait to “secure the remaining 60-90 dogs” still in the care of the firm, Eastern Securities.

The controversy erupted when photos of the German Shepherds allegedly killed by Eastern Securities were put on the internet by animal welfare groups.

Former Navy SEAL Mike Ritland, who created the Warrior Dog Foundation, a group that places retired working dogs into good homes, wrote this:

“Many people have messaged me to help spread the word about this atrocity. This is why we work so hard to give our four-legged heroes, whether they are CWD, MWD, SOF or police K9’s, a place to retire and receive nothing but the best mental and physical care at the @Warriordogfoundation. Many of the dogs we have received faced being put down and when no one else would take them. From the information we have gathered thus far- 24 Contract Working Dogs were killed by the contractor, Eastern Securities, when their contract was not renewed. These dogs were trained in the U.S. and sold to a Kuwaiti company to do explosive detection.” 

One report, however, noted that the killing of the dogs by Eastern Securities actually took place in 2014.

There are a number of new articles on the issue but the most complete appears to be by the New York Post which tracked down former employees and a top company official. The official denied any wrongdoing but he didn’t have an explanation for why the dogs were put down.

Other former employees of Eastern Securities talked about the abuse of animals at the company. One of the bomb-sniffing dogs had cancer but was forced to continue to work, employees said.

“Those dogs were mistreated,” Amy Swope, an American who worked for Eastern Securities in Kuwait from July to November of 2014, told the Post.

“A lot of them were underfed, had eye and skin infections, lesions, bacterial infections, diarrhea, and cancerous growths. One dog had uterine cancer so bad I begged them to euthanize her.”

The petition is here.

The New York Post story can be read here:

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