Nine former bomb sniffing dogs have already received their happy ending, with dozens more to follow, as they land safely in America. The remaining 60 – 80 dogs are currently in Kuwait, but will hopefully be transported home to the United States before the end of the year.
This is truly a miracle and testament for one woman’s dedication to these animals. Without her, they would not have made it this far.
The dogs’ story begins with Eastern Securities, a U.S. company operating in Kuwait. This company is responsible for handling, caring for, and supplying bomb sniffing dogs to organizations overseas. Unfortunately, on June 17, 2016, the world was made very aware of just how “disposable” these dogs were.
A photo was released on Instagram by the Kuwait Animal Rescue Unit (KARU), depicting stomach-churning images of dogs’ bodies piled in front of their kennels. In total, 24 dogs were euthanized and tossed on the floor like trash.
KARU described it as a “horrifying animal massacre.”
As stated in the post by KARU, Eastern Securities’ largest contracts were with Kuwait National Petroleum Company, who paid roughly $9,900 per month for each dog to detect explosives on their oil drilling site. Shortly after this contract was terminated, the dogs were slaughtered.
There are other conspiracies and speculations on why these dogs were euthanized. You can read more about them here.
Roger Abshire, CEO of US K9 Unlimited, the facility located Louisiana where these dogs were trained, was shocked and disgusted to hear of Eastern Securities’ actions. He described them as a “terrible, terrible” company.
[The company’s position] shall be one of absolute condemnation of such a gross and vile act against defenceless animals. … To see these pictures simply makes all of us here sick to our stomachs.
When the photos were released by KARU, a former employee of Eastern Securities knew she had to take action. Amy Swope was someone who “knew and loved many of these dogs.” The news of their execution shook her to her very core.
After learning that roughly 60 to 90 dogs remained in the “care” of Eastern Securities, Swope acted quickly. Her experience working for the company helped her track down the right contacts in order to rescue the remaining dogs. She reached out to the U.S. Embassy, imploring them to intervene on behalf of the dogs’ welfare, and to take legal action against the company.
Please step in and demand these dogs be released from this company and returned to the United States! Both the SPCA International and Mission K9 Rescue are prepared to handle the logistics of this crisis upon release, however, the company MUST release them. As you are the representatives of ‘We the People,’ we are asking for your help.
To gain as much support as possible, Amy Swope created a Care2 Petition in order to spread awareness of the atrocities taking place in Kuwait.
Quickly, the petition spread like wildfire! Before Swope sent the letter to the U.S. Embassy, she contacted the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals International (SPCA-I), who did not hesitate to join the cause. With their help, the petition reached the Embassy within days.
Amy Swope was flooded with emails, letters, and messages from supporters offering to help save the remaining dogs. She even received a call from a woman working at the U.S. Embassy.
I know you don’t know me, but your petition is the talk of the Embassy right now.
You can read more about her experience here.
On September 3, 2016, the petition was completed with over 275,000 signatures by outraged dog lovers from all over the world!
With the help of the SPCA-I and the U.S. Embassy, all remaining dogs were seized from Eastern Securities, and scheduled for transport back to America. Once they have settled, they will hopefully begin their journey to find forever homes.
“Thanks to this petition, the US Embassy did get involved! With their help in connecting Become A Foster Guardian, Mission K9 Rescue and the ESC, this issue has been resolved! 9 dogs have been retired to the USA and more will be coming in over the next couple months. Also, the ESC has agreed to allow Become a Foster Guardian and Mission K9 Rescue to continue to check up on the dogs, offer medical and care guidance, and retire out the older dogs to the USA. I truly believe the success we had with reaching out to ESC and seeing their cooperation was a direct result of our petition to the US Embassy and the pressure put on their company to be compliant.” – Amy Swope
This is a happy ending to an incredibly sad story, but also serves as a reminder that we can make a difference. No voice is too small!
Thanks to one passionate woman, and her 275,000 supporters, these dogs will retire in peace.
Be the change you wish to see in the world.