14 highly trained military dogs en route to Afghanistan left to die by transport contractor

Highly trained dogs are now vital partners in our miltary and security efforts overseas.

photo courtesy U.S. Army

This is one of the worst stories we’ve come across. According to a lawsuit filed by a Florida dog-training company that provides the U.S. military with bomb-sniffing dogs, a transportation company left 14 German shepherds and Belgian Malinoises in an unventilated container truck overnight at a Houston airport, after assuring the owners that the dogs would be housed in a kennel.

The animals were to be flown to Afghanistan. . . . But when agents for the dogs’ owners visited the shipping facility early on that morning, they found the animals inside an unattended refrigerated box truck, the lawsuit says. The truck was running with the doors partly ajar.

The agents smelled a rancid odor, the lawsuit says, and when they shook the crates, the dogs inside failed to move. They found blood on the truck floor and in some crates and damage that suggested two animals had tried to escape the containers.

All the dogs were dead.

Many times on this blog we have celebrated the achievements of military working dogs, as well as their loyalty and devotion to their handlers. To see such incredible animals—their names were Tiny, Rex, Rocky, Crock, Dork, Harrie, Stress, Sigo, Rex, Jaco, Kimbo, Kilo, Albert, and Bak—treated this way is heartbreaking. The lawsuit by the dogs owners, Florida-based American K-9 Detection Services, is seeking $1.3 million in damages. But that won’t be enough to replace those brave dogs.

Read the whole story in the Houston Chronicle.

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