Canine Rights

U.S. Bomb-Sniffing Dogs Sent to Fight Terrorism in Jordan Dying From Neglect

At least 10 United States-trained bomb-sniffing dogs sent to support anti-terrorism efforts in Jordan have died as a result of extreme neglect and poor treatment by their foreign handlers, a federal investigation found.

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Bomb-sniffing dog Athena was healthy when she arrived in Jordan, less than one year before this photo was taken.

The federal report released last week blames malnutrition, lack of basic veterinary and preventative care, poor sanitation, and mistreatment by handlers in the deaths of at least 10 of the dozens of dogs provided to Jordan by the U.S. Investigators noted feces-covered kennels, empty water bowls, food tossed onto kennel floors instead of bowls, untreated parasites, engorged ticks, overgrown toenails, protruding ribs in their report. These findings came after a 2016 site visit and welfare report which put pressure on Jordan to provide better care for EDCs.

For over 20 years the U.S. State Department has sent more than 100 specially trained Explosives Detection Canines (EDCs) to foreign allies to enhance law enforcement capabilities and to support anti-terrorism efforts.

In 2017, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG)received a hotline tip that bomb-sniffing dogs were being sent to ally nations without proper oversight or requirements for their continued care. The complainant alleged that dogs were being mistreated, neglected, and dying due to various medical conditions and lack of appropriate care. Following the tip, the OIG launched a federal investigation into whether the Bureau of Diplomatic Security’s Office of Antiterrorism Assistance was effectively managing the health and welfare of canines in the Explosive Detection Canine Program.

While the dogs are generally well cared for in most ally nations, the year-long investigation revealed that at least 10 dogs died in Jordan as a result of poor treatment, neglect, and lack of medical care and that those surviving are living in unhealthy conditions, overworked, with inadequate kennel space and poor sanitation.

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“Since 2016, little progress has been made regarding the ability of Jordan to care for EDCs; in that time, however, DS/ATA has provided 66 dogs to Jordan,” the federal report said.

The Inspector General’s office said it “remains concerned that Jordan is not able or willing to provide adequate care for working dogs” and that “any improvements that have been made were simply a reaction to pressure” from U.S. officials.

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), in a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, said, “The best-trained dog in the world is still ill-equipped to protect American interests if it is sick or starving.” He urged the Secretary of State to address the report and detail exactly what will be done to ensure both the welfare of the dogs in the program and the millions of U.S. dollars spent to provide animals to ally nations.

The report declared that the ultimate responsibility for overseeing the Explosive Detection Canines program falls on the State Department. And that, in addition to failing to guarantee the dogs’ health and safety, the department failed to secure written agreements from foreign partners that outline standards for minimum care and retirement of the animals.

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Val Lee

    Sep 21, 2019 at 1:45 pm

    Muslims are commanded to kill dogs.

    “Narrated `Aisha: “The things which annul the prayers were mentioned before me. They said, ‘Prayer is annulled by a dog, a donkey and a woman (if they pass in front of the praying people).’ I said, ‘You have made us (i.e. women) dogs.’ I saw the Prophet (ﷺ) praying while I used to lie in my bed between him and the Qibla. Whenever I was in need of something, I would slip away. for I disliked to face him.” — Sahih Bukhari 8.158.511

    (I will add, this is why women are not allowed in mosques on Friday their worship day.)

    “Once Gabriel promised the Prophet (that he would visit him, but Gabriel did not come) and later on he said, ‘We, angels, do not enter a house which contains a picture or a dog.’” — Sahih Bukhari 4.54.50

    “Abdullah (b. Umar) (Allah be pleased with them) reported: Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) ordered the killing of dogs and we would send (men) in Medina and its corners and we did not spare any dog that we did not kill, so much so that we killed the dog that accompanied the wet she-camel belonging to the people of the desert.” — Sahih Muslim 3811

    Jesus Christ is our only hope—Romans 10:9-10 from the Bible: “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

  2. Lisa

    Sep 20, 2019 at 7:46 pm

    This is asinine, appalling and unacceptable! Get those dogs out of there let the Jordanians figure out how to find bombs themselves! Shame on the U.S.A.!

  3. Jan

    Sep 17, 2019 at 2:48 pm

    Bring them home! They are being horribly mistreated. This is a disgrace.

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