Pentagon Refused Accusations of Leaving Behind Dogs at Kabul Airport
A dog is considered to be the man’s best friend and is labeled as the most loyal pet. On the contrary, when we talk about humankind, animals seem more humane than humans. The US government is being accused and criticized for leaving behind their military dogs while pulling out of Kabul.
However, the Pentagon has denied the accusations and called such reports erroneous, claiming that the US military did not leave any dog in the airport.
Pentagon press secretary John Kirby tweeted;
To correct erroneous reports, the U.S. Military did not leave any dogs in cages at Hamid Karzai International Airport, including the reported military working dogs. Photos circulating online were animals under the care of the Kabul Small Animal Rescue, not dogs under our care.
— John Kirby (@PentagonPresSec) August 31, 2021
Kabul Small Animal Rescue (KSAR), an animal rights organization functioning in Afghanistan for the past year, initially scheduled to evacuate some animals but was forced to leave their cages at the airport as dogs were not allowed on military aircraft, while private charter aircraft were not allowed into Kabul. Consequently, the dogs released at the airport were left homeless.
— Sumaira Khan (@sumrkhan1) August 31, 2021
Lori Kalef, director of Programs at SPCA International, stated that they feel heartbroken because the rescued dogs and other animals and their caretakers were not allowed on military aircrafts and private charter aircrafts to take out of the country.
KSAR assured to re-rescue the animals and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) filed a petition based on reports stating;
Dozens of US military working dogs, numerous animal companions belonging to evacuated Americans, and more than 100 dogs previously rescued from the streets of Afghanistan along with an unknown number of rescued cats and the humans caring for these animals were left behind in Afghanistan after the last US plane left Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul.
All the allegations arose shortly after an image went viral on social media featuring dogs inside cages in front of a demilitarized helicopter, which made the US forces look merciless. People across the world have been enraged by these reports revealing that once under military custody, these dogs are now forced to become homeless strays in a state ruled by the Taliban.
Eric Pahon, a Defense Department spokesman, said that the animals pictured were under the care of KSAR, not the U.S. military. He said that the priority mission was to evacuate people including US citizens, holders of special immigrant visas and vulnerable Afghans.
He further added;
Despite an ongoing complicated and dangerous retrograde mission, U.S. forces went to great lengths to assist the Kabul Small Animal Rescue as much as possible.
One shudders to imagine the plight of these abandoned animals in Afghanistan if they are not rescued in time.